A Poem: Red Car | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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A Poem: Red Car



in retrospect, she was too old to be fucking around in the car
knew better than to kick the back of her mother’s seat
swear at her younger brother while her father was driving. but the road was empty
the sky was clear, and reason seemed to just
float out the window to follow the birds. it was silly

to think that God wasn’t paying attention up there
or some stern force that demanded utter subjugation
under the rules of the road as stated in driver’s safety courses
it was just silly to think she could get away with it.

when the tire blew
and the car flipped
and started somersaulting down the road
she knew she would be the only survivor of the crash
that she was going to have to live with this
as penance for fucking around in the car. as she flew

out the open window and over the road, away from the car
she knew that this would be the last time she’d see
her family alive—their eyes wide in terror, mouths frozen
in piercing, unending screams, hands working at seatbelt latches
that would not open in time—she would hold this image
in her head for the rest of her lonely, orphan life, knowing

it was all her fault.

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