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Poetry is an Accident on the Freeway

Poetry is an accident on the freeway
Poetry is frustration
A dreadful inconvenience
An obstacle that prevents you 
From getting where you want to go 
As fast as you expect to get there

An interruption to your regularly scheduled programming
A careless intervention 
Into your carefully structured life
Your blissful reverie broken
Your mobility halted or slowed

Forced to tail the bumper of the car in front
Forced to gaze upon someone else’s destruction
Forced to share in a collision
Poetry is a journey delayed
Poetry is personal invasion

The worst and the best at once
An opportunity to consider life and death
An invitation to think about someone else 
A chance to step outside yourself
Or to think about yourself from another’s perspective
Or to feel another’s pain
Or to stop and help
Or not

Poetry is waiting
Poetry is witness
There are others seeing the same scene
But they are irrelevant because 
The experience of the accident is your own
You interpret it as you were, are, and will be
For no one comes from the same place
And everyone is headed some place different
And all have varying expectations 
On how quickly they should get there
United by stoppage alone

And if you actually stopped at an accident
An image would be etched in your mind
But stopping would delay you further
For an accident prompts questions of bother

Why is the traffic stopping?
How dare this delay?
What is everyone looking at?
How did it happen?
Why can’t people be more careful?
Was there injury or death?
Whose fault was it anyways?
What are the stories of the parties involved?
As their fates have been inadvertently intertwined

But the questions fade once the accident is in the rear view mirror
After all now you’re past and can resume normal speed
Finally on your way to where you’re supposed to be
A wave of relief washes over as traffic flows
Speeding down the endless pavement of your consciousness


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