Nebraska Center for Writers

by Kelly Madigan

Stopped at the crossroad on 14th street, ice clean
as an apple slice under my wheels, I am waiting
for my turn and I donít know yet about looking back
which is why I cannot describe the color or make of what hit me,
moving too fast to brake on the black, and my blue Volkswagen
shoots out into oncoming lanes and once there begins to spin —
and that is where time slows, like they always say,
forming an opening in the day that was already thick with news.

The man comes to the car window,
wants to know if Iím okay, and I tell him Iím pregnant,
that I just found out this morning, and he looks like he will faint,
and I open the door and step out into the street,

and this, I believe, is the story of conception; how my daughter
used momentum and ice and velocity and impact
to pierce the atmosphere and enter the world.

Reprinted with permission
from Barrow Street
Copyright © 2003
by Kelly Madigan

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The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers