First Night On-Call, Coronary Care Unit

April 1, 2003
Volume 20, Issue 4

Poetry of the Times

I'm driving a knife-edge
mountain ridge at midnight,
no lines, no guard rails,

a semi screaming down my lane
ready to crush me with its cargo
of science I still need to learn.

A rusted out Chevy on my tail
scrapes an exhaust pipe and sends
sparks into darkness, their brief light

fading fast as facts I've memorized.
I don't know who will die tonight,
me or them, but I grip the wheel tight,

knuckles lit white by high-beams,
my own heart pounding, heading uphill,
engine moaning, pedal to the metal.