For some reason I thought of this the other day. I remember a crash that occurred on the corner of my old high school. I didn’t see it. I read about it in the newspaper. I can still the the pointillated gray photos of the two young girls from the crash. They were friends. One of the dads was driving. The father and one of the girls died in the crash, but both girls were so horribly disfigured that they couldn’t tell who was who.

I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about this lately. I may have already posted this poem, but the memory has been especially vivid the past few days, so here it is.

Life Lesson at Sixteen

Only one of three alive
in stillness lay
broken,
burnt,
ripped from the short ride home
on her crisp orange autumn day
at the corner
where my high school stands,
and the powder green pines grow—
at the corner
where the flag whips the air
from the platinum pole,
bright contrasts to pools of red
and metal wrung like wet rags
against the asphalt gray
they were.

All blood and blond,
their beauty stripped
by a quick-ran red,
an auto-ram impacted sides
with screams and squeals
and sweet-burnt rubber
and shimmering glass like
a giant’s shaken salt
on the gray road-plate—
their flesh offered
raw
for his consuming.