Sunday, December 18, 1994.
A gray woolen sky unfolds herself
over our heads, bleeding in all directions.
I am eighteen years old, have never
been behind the wheel of a car. The
white Mustang, only five years old,
rumbles and snorts underneath my seat,
its rippled mechanical muscle churning
just below the surface of white paint
trying its best to glisten in cloudlight.
I pull my leaden, brand new brake foot
away and rest it on the gas pedal: that
horse gallops, veering right. There are no
rubber treaded hooves rolling cleanly
over double-yellow striped asphalt. They
stomp and thunder, embossing new tracks
into the green grass softly lining the road’s
My memories of what happens next:
a series of flashcards, in sight and sound.
I hear my stepbrother shouting, but
his mean steed is charging ahead through
other people’s front lawns: I hear him only
through a tunnel. I cannot move my body.
I cannot feel my fingers. I cannot see anything
except scenery rushing towards me.
Someone’s mailbox – a little metal head
stuck on a long wooden neck – falls underneath
the horse’s hooves and dies. We keep
rolling forward until the horse slams itself –
headfirst – into a long brown giant with wires
strung around the ears.
The horse dies, of a broken skull.
We are soon taken away in the bellies
of screaming red metal creatures.
The paramedics wrap our necks
in plastic and foam, fearful that they
are even just a little bit looser from
our spines. We are just a little bit looser,
too, from our tiny wrinkled hovels in space-time:
but neither of us acknowledge this. The sirens
announce our exit as we leave
a broken metal carcass behind.
Written 8/2 and 8/5/13
© 2013 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.
This poem was written for We Write Poems Prompt #168: a poem you can’t think about. We were instructed to take a moment, any in our lives, and pay close attention to it, using memory and thought to pull out tactile and other details. But, here was the catch — not to let thought lead this exercise. I’m probably still guilty of that with this poem, but I tried my best to concentrate on the details of the moment, and man, this was difficult!
I apologize to my fellow WWP’ers, but I have not been able to read much of others’ poems lately. I have been very busy trying to promote two things:
1) my upcoming performance at Rock the ‘Ville in Westerville, OH this Saturday….
and 2) my new chapbook, Novena (remixed) which comes out on August 14!
Thank you for stopping by and reading. Hope you enjoyed the poem.