Funny thing, complacency.
There she was: scooting along through life,
whittling down her to do list,
wondering how it ever got this overgrown in the first place,
thinking of all the things she’s gonna’ do
One Day
and how marvelous life will be then,
even though she readily admits that it’s
pretty awesome right now.
But still.

Then the phone rings
and her husband says
“I’ve just been hit by a guy
doing about 50 mph.”
“Are you all right?” she asks,
and he assures her that he’s fine,
especially since he saw the guy coming,
swerving off the road then
back onto the road,
headed right for him
but he was able to move over just a little bit
so the fella didn’t hit him head-on after all
but just in front of the driver’s side.

Her car is in the shop,
so she calls her daughter and asks her
to go over
and once daughter says “I’m on my way,”
she breathes easier because
she knows her husband is okay
and she knows her daughter can handle anything.
Her son is in Colorado, but she calls him anyway
because emotional support doesn’t know geography.

Her husband and daughter get home
and they all spend the rest of the afternoon
quietly watching television
and refreshing the ice they hope will
contain the rise of the mountain
that’s grown on his left knee.

She sleeps good
and the next day she sees the
big, ugly bruise across his chest –
the seatbelt’s legacy –
and even though the soreness settles in,
and they snuggle and touch even more than usual
as the sobering possibilities of what might have happened
drape over them like a heavy, heavy, heavy veil.

She writes as though it happened
to someone else
because that’s as close as she can get
to it right now,
and she wonders
why it takes a near-negative event
to shift her into
renewed, committed