This afternoon, whilst digging through the dusty archives of the MacBook, I found an old poem! Well, what a surprise! I do remember the process of writing it several months ago, but can’t quite recall the specific experience which inspired it. Apparently I never posted it, and the poor thing was just lingering in the basement of ‘My Documents’, waiting to be remembered. Sniff, so sad…out of pity I have dragged it out and dusted it off a little bit, and turns out it’s actually a worthwhile piece!
Coasting home on the lonely drift of Route 523
around a curve my headlights pass over
a murder scene
on the shoulder.
It’s just a glimpse
but even today I can see the carnage as if it is
plastered across my windshield.
A hit and run.
Her body is cradled in the sharp metal arms of the guard rails,
legs bent and twisted against the bed of asphalt,
face pressed into the oily grit.
Her mouth hangs open,
tongue tasting the earth
Head, thrown back to expose
a long column of throat
stained gray with dust and death.
But the eyes are the worst.
They stare into my headlights
and for a moment flash in imitation of life
but it’s just a reflection.
She is trapped,
her torso forever stretching toward the other side of the road
an unreached destination in sight
of blind eyes
and I feel her confusion
as my own,
a life cut so quickly
that she’ll never know what ended her in mid-step,
in glaring lights and squealing tires and nothing.
She is helpless and she is dead
and I should stop
tell myself I would stop, want to stop
and see if I can help when nobody else will.
I’ve been taught that when it comes to animals,
we can forget that we have a heart.
(c) 2012 Marie KR
This is a topic which frustrates and confuses me to no end; the way that humans treat animals as if they have no consciousness, as if they feel no pain and that their lives have no worth. Someone else sees a deer on the side of the road and thinks “There are too many deer around anyway”, but I agonize over wondering if it’s still alive, if it understood the pain, if it was afraid. I seem to be cursed with an overactive empathy gland, because this is my typical train of thought in most every situation: how well can I understand what that living thing is experiencing? It’s terrible and painful and maybe silly, but I’d rather think like that than just brush off a life because I hold myself superior to it by intelligence or size or species.
But I realize that the title of this post needs an explanation. I’ll assume the incorrect fact that many people are daily checking this blog with bated breath, hoping for an update. Well, you’re all in luck! This post is only the beginning of a series of poems I’ve been working on for a few days and which should be ready for sharing very soon. So, don’t give up hope! There is more rambling to come!