Write a 20-line poem about a memorable moment in your life.
Once again, I’m making my own rules!
Day five calls for a poem.
I can’t write poems.
I am profoundly envious of people who can.
I have a near PTSD level of reaction to even trying to write something with rhyme and meter. You may think that’s a highly inappropriate analogy, but I’m serious. My heart rate goes up, my anxiety screams in my ears, my hands shake, and I rarely get more than a few lines written before I fling down my pen and walk away – on occasion nearly crying from the frustration.
So, I got this one line written before the next line drove me to pen flinging: Rain and sleet and ice so cold.
So, I acknowledge my failure as a poet, I own that failure.
Here’s the story I was trying to tell:
The tires broke loose on the ice and my Jeep began a slow, graceful spin across three lanes of I-35. It was slow enough that I had time to identify the cars that might crash into me. I hoped it would be the compact, because I thought the pickup would probably kill me.
Strapped securely into my seat, the heater blasting out warmth, I was comfortable in my dread. I knew there was a chance I was about to die, but I was helpless to do anything about it.
That moment – sitting in a soft seat, in warmth, with my dog beside me, sliding helplessly towards a fate that could be horrible – still exists in my mind. The strange duality of it – fear and comfort in a moment that passed as slowly as molasses drips – I’ve never forgotten it.
It ended when I slammed into a concrete barrier and came to stop. No car hit me. I suffered only a bruise from the seat belt. My dog tumbled into the floor boards and then promptly teleported into my lap. The Jeep suffered some dents.
I sat there, holding a trembling dog, dimly aware of the odor of the coffee splashed about the interior.
And then I drove on.