Off the Road

When our car, speeding, somersaulted off the road,
I covered my face with my hands.
Light filtered through my fingers in flickering bands.

Something bit my knee and batted my head.
Time slowed, the seconds dawdled, just as others have said.
Still alive, now, this second, still alive, now, this nextó

the mind engrossed in flesh,
no boundary, and none between terror and relief.
Infinity and the moment: meshed.

And the car vaulted and it vaulted.
Asphalt grating metal made a torturous sound.
G-forces assaulted

me, from without,  from within,
yet I didnít scream. Like a child cowed at church,
I sat still through all that trauma and lurch.

You screamed. Of that, I was dimly aware.
But you see, my love, with my hands over my eyes
and my heart thrashing, I didnít care

what you were going through.  We werenít truly wed.
I learned, that day, that when I die, Iíll die alone,
however staunch your vigil at my bed.

The car stopped.  Pines filled the windshield; the sun was bright.
We held hands by the roadside and waited for help
though we were all right.

Copyright 2011,  Kate Bernadette Benedict

Kate Bernadette Benedict, of New York City, is the author of the full-length poetry collections  Here from Away (2003), and In Company (due November 2011).  She publishes and edits three online poetry journals: UmbrellaBumbershoot, and Tilt-a-Whirl.

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