Headed home from a business trip
Tired, spaced out, grouchy and impatient
Pushing the limit to beat rush hour traffic
Fast closing on an old jalopy van
Suddenly blue smoke and debris flying
The back tire must have bounced twenty feet up
My first thought…’Stay STRAIGHT, you bastard!
Careening violently left, it flipped many times
(Several objects were ejected from the doors)
My next thought..."This is NOT my problem!"
"DAMN!" Slam on the brakes at the last second
Then it hit me. I was the first on the scene...
I would guess it took a full minute to cross over
Cars whizzing and blowing by in both lanes
Obviously it was not their problem either...
(Someone else has stopped, they'll handle it!
Besides, there's a game coming on tonight)
I waved my arms, screaming curses and pointing…
A woman was lying near the wreckage,
wailing in robotic, shock induced screams
Left arm beneath her back with her right arm
twisted at a bizarre and unnatural angle
One man was thrown at least twenty feet off
(Ironically, he seemed the least injured)
He kept trying to get up for some reason
I rushed over and asked him to stay down
"Okay, but the baby!...Where is the baby?"
('A baby, you mean there's a BABY??')
"Yes, our BABY...Please go find our baby!"
(‘Oh no, dear God please, no...no')
The median was a wide, steep-banked grassy ditch
The van was tilted slightly sideways on its roof
Legs rubbery and trembling, stomach churning,
sweat streaming and stinging blurry eyes,
I staggered over to the wreckage, knelt down
and peered through the passenger side window
Empty… (‘Oh no, dear God, please, no…no’)
Stumbling around back and then alongside,
scanning the grass and then around front
I almost tripped over it. There he was
Maybe five feet from the bumper he sat upright
still tucked safely away in his baby seat
kicking and cooing, giggling and drooling,
obviously having a wonderful time
I collapsed to my knees, bowed my head down
and feverishly began to unbuckle him
but quickly thought better, fearing unseen injury
Instead, I took his head gently with both hands,
kissed his forehead and nuzzled against his neck
(Babies have that particular scent, you know)
I recall glancing upward to clear blue skies,
muttering and mumbling incoherent thanks...
For Charlotte’s contest