The trick is to risk collision,/then step back at the last moment:/that ringing in your ears/might be construed as the rush of stars.
I found Peter Everwine’s work by accident. I read one of his poems in an email I receive every week or so with American poetry and ordered the book. Recognizing his voice in that one poem I read in an email was like a “ringing” that said, this one. Get this one. By the miracle of Internet search, I found his address and will write him a thank you note. He’s retired from teaching at Fresno State.
I’ve been thinking of accidents lately. Two weeks ago, a lady in the Whole Foods parking lot backed into me as I was passing and caused some damage to the passenger side door. Not bad and no one was hurt, annoying but not drastic. This week I took the car into the collision center to be repaired and they gave me a rental 2010 Camry. Nice car and all, but not mine.
I’ve been concerned all week about accidents in an unfamiliar car that wasn’t mine. I took Cliff’s Honda to school because the rental doesn’t have school parking stickers, so again I was in an unfamiliar car – at night – thinking about accidents. I want MY Camry back. I want to feel safe in my car again.
And yet, an accident isn’t necessarily bad – a collision might be – but accidents come in all shapes and sizes. Finding Peter Everwine’s work was an accident that’s brought joy and the sound of rushing stars.
If we get in the habit of closing ourselves off to any accident, we miss the small beauty right in front of us; pretty soon, the stars disappear. That’s when we get blind-sided by collisions.