Some days I drive through the car accident
of my life in a mint-condition, nail-polish red Stingray,
and every little scratch and ding destroys me.
Other times, life isn’t so much a car accident
as a meteor shower, and I know that disasters
are taking place but are light years away, and tragedy
is burning up on contact with my atmosphere.
This isn’t the case with death. Death comes
to my tulips every summer, just as summer
gives life to the gladiolas. And to the wrestling
coach who last year drowned in the river
I used to fish and had a fear of drowning in, too.
Death will come to you. And to Tom Hanks.
No matter how much people like both of you.
To black horses and cherry trees. To heart surgeons.
But there are things to live for—Tia Kata’s enchiladas,
an invention better than the wheel. The way when
the woman across the street calls her kids in for dinner,
she holds her spatula, like the Statue of Liberty of our cul-de-sac.
~ ~ ~
Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length poetry collections, A Brief History of Time (2009) and The Children’s War and Other Poems (2013), both from Salt Publishing. She teaches at Blue Mountain Community College in the high desert town of Pendleton, Oregon, and serves as Poetry Editor of Contrary. Learn more online at http://shaindelbeers.com .