Second Take on the Interstate Accident
By Don Iannone
One poem was not enough
to shake loose the hold
of the interstate accident
I witnessed last month.
The images of the dead bodies
seem to hover in my mind.
I saw them--
the dead bodies,
completely covered by sheets.
People alive in one instant
and dead in the next.
People on their way to somewhere
when something went terribly wrong
and now their lives have suddenly ended.
who won’t go home tonight
to their families,
and complain about their jobs.
who never intended to die this way,
or for that matter in any way
on this snowy cold early February morning.
I wonder who was at fault--
if anyone at all was to blame
for what had happened.
What good is blame
at a time like this any way?
The two people on the covered stretchers
are just bodies now, waiting
to be loaded into the ambulances
with the flashing red and blue lights, and
then taken through the snowy darkness
to a nearby small town hospital,
where those who love them
must come at this early hour,
identify their bodies, and
they will never see their loved one again.
The bodies have names--
even now at this dark hour,
as their spirits slip away,
and their loved ones hover over them,
saying their names, hoping
the names will bring them back to life.
Why was I driving so fast this morning?
Why was I not paying attention to the traffic,
the slippery road, and
my hurried, over-stressed, out-of-control life?
I could have caused this accident
by leading my life in such a reckless fashion.
I could be one of those lifeless bodies,
covered by a stark white sheet, waiting
to be taken to a hospital I don’t know,
and my family would have to come
and identify my remains.
Why do I drive myself so hard in life?”