(For Melissa)

The rain fell,
harder than their laughter in the dusk,
louder even than their curses at Siri
for her lag-ey lane change prompts,
never leaving them enough time
to cautiously alter course
in DC’s unforgiving torrent of traffic.

Was it the same
for the white box truck
that suddenly veered sharply
across a divider space not meant for travel?
Caught on the wrong side of a split,
the pooled water from the downpour
masked the vast hole
that made the enormous wheels rise up,
the truck buck,
twist beside us,
right itself roughly and
violently slam into the lane
just ahead.

In her peripheral vision,
a ton of swerving truck
rocking treacherously over us
as we fast-sliced through the deluge.
Her, releasing the wheel,
stretching out one arm,
the small, fine, freckled hand
held open before my troubled heart.

Crash or crush immaterial.
I have been saved.

May 28, 2014
Julie Ayers


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