The Dark Side of the River | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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The Dark Side of the River



Crossing the Rhinecliff

This is normal

A weekly routine

A fork in the road

The rightmost path my

Usual route

Somehow does not call me today

Turning the first corner

Is not as easy as I

Remember when the road is not

Covered with a

Maliciously fluffy, immaculately white


Approaching the shoulder

Seeing the high hill

Racing toward the ditch

This is surely how I die

As so many have

Experienced before

My entire life

Plays through

My head

Like an accelerated slide show

Having never felt so


So little in control of

My life

Forgetting all of those

Rules those

Little tricks

To stop sliding


This will be the exception

To no avail

Happening so fast

Almost unbelievably so

A loud crunch

Invaded my ears

And the realization


I'm wrapped around a tree

The worst sound I've ever known

The droning wail of a broken machine

A failing motor

Amplified through the air

Taking over what

Should have been

The calm of falling snow

The worst smell I've known

Previously unknown

For I can compare it to


Fills the interior

Not able to handle this I race

Out of the car

To save my mind and

My life

A compassionate stranger

Accompanies me

Watches over me

As we watch from


My little blue car turn


Engulfed by flames

And as the popping of

Explosions begin

I realize just how

Lucky I am

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