Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Childhood Memories, Part VIII

A Nightmare on My Street


At the sound of “Amen,”


thundered in our laps

Mom and Dad rushed outside

past your ten-speed bike

you and I their shadows

burning metal, barbecue ribs

two cars, one in our yard

littered with groceries

Oh my God!

a body, a neighbor

crying teenage girls

Oh my God!

“Get inside the house!”

I ran in, you followed

sweaty hair stuck to your face

Oh my God!

“It could have been you!”

we watched zombies

move in and out

back and forth

use the phone

call 911

tears, screams

Oh, my God!

“Someone get towels, hurry up!”

blood, shaky hands

Oh my God!

“I dreamed this would happen!”

sirens, ambulance

cops, firemen

mosquitoes everywhere

Oh my God!

the lady died.

That's why I've always worn my seatbelt.

@laurie kolp

Inspiration: Poets United


kaykuala said...

We can't imagine the carnage before we see one. Those who have not are the ones not normally wearing them. A very good reminder!

Mary said...

Laurie, what an awful thing to witness. I am sure this memory is one which remains forever strong. Your poem had my heart

Anonymous said...

Laurie, horrible thing to see, but if that's how you had to learn the lesson, so be it. I won't put the car in gear until everyone has their belt on. Some of the older ladies complain, but I'm just as firm with them as I am with children.

This had that immediacy of "You Are There." Every detail, random moments, excellent writing. Amy

Judy Roney said...

What a harrowing experience. So scary, and you captured the scene so well in bits and pieces between the screams.

Anonymous said...

Vivid narrative of a childhood horror, told with artistic poise, chaos managed by your skillfully turned lines.


Anonymous said...

you put us right there with you! seatbelts DO make a difference!