car accident


this is what i remember of that day
the day of the car accident.


i was four.

we were on our way to pre-school.
i couldn’t wait to get there
(i think we were going to stomp on grapes)
i was bouncing up and down, up down on the bench seat
of our white plymouth
‘mommy, hurry up! hurry up!’
we were going to be late,
i’d miss the bus leaving from the preschool to go to the vineyard
‘hurry up! hurry up!’

it was slippery, leaves on bendy, twisting River Road

‘hurry up! hurry up!’
bounce, bounce, bounce
‘mommy, mommy, hurry!’

and then

the world twisted all around
blurred motion, moving
a silence so profound
i could hear it in my marrow
a bucket of ice
poured over my head
freezing cold

a sudden fatigue

i was so tired
i put my head in mom’s lap
on her cream wrap-sweater

a man came, said he was jesus

(mom said later he said, “oh jesus!”)
he carried me
into his truck
his truck took me to
an ambulance

there was a young man in the ambulance

he said
“everything is going to be okay”
i was so utterly tired

the ambulance took me

to the hospital
where they sewed my face up in a hundred, a thousand?, or more small stitches
dipped in flesh, pulled tight
a needle, a thread
set, placed

when i awoke, it was dark

i looked into a mirror to see

and my face
was forever changed


memories of a car accident

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