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To carry on our love of all things poetry and to keep the energy high, I will continue to post poems by the contributing poets to the anthology until the Colorado Book Awards on May 21, 2017 (info by clicking here).

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Today’s poem is by contributing poet: Laura Mahal

Used to be a Runner

I used to be a runner,
but now I walk.

I used to shout for joy,
but now I talk

About new beginnings,
a new me, defined

Not by what I do,
but whether I am kind.

Green light intersection,
just me and my child

Speeding drunk driver
struck us hard and wild

Minivan was smoky,
we crawled out the side

Paramedics waiting
to take us on a ride

My daughter tore her shoulder,
I shredded both my hips

Letting go of rage
meant coming to grips

No more martial arts,
no more marathons

But we were still alive
so life would roll right on

When I first heard the police interviewing the man who ran the light and struck our vehicle, I imprinted the question they asked of him. “When was the last time you took a drink?” At the time, the paramedics were doing a concussion check, testing me with, “Do you know what day it is?” and “What’s your name?”

My first reaction was gratitude to be alive, and that my beloved daughter was okay.

In the weeks ahead, when I slowly realized the severity of our injuries, I switched to anger. Anger carried me through when I realized what this split-second action on the part of someone who was careless cost my family, not just financially, but in terms of identity.

But one day, I recognized I was fully back in a place of gratitude. And forgiveness toward this man, whose life must be really challenging. I don’t know what it is to experience addiction on a daily basis.

I’ve got one hip surgery done, with one more to go.
I’m still on the path of recovery.
Putting one foot in front of the other . . .

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