“On Getting the Phone Call That My Son Had Rolled His Jeep, Good Friday 2019” by dee Hobsbawn-Smith

It plays like a Tarantino film: establishing shot of the long gravel road,
dust spiraling, blue-sky hawk soaring above a car in the distance.

Tighten to a close-up of the car’s velour seat covers, ashtray overflowing,
coffee cups perched on dashboard. The soundtrack bursts

through the speakers, funkytime bass blending of hiphop, rap, techno.
Cut to the gravel spitting, dust tornadoing, hawk departing

as the car scissors back and forth, a wild toboggan ride careening
the road’s width and back again,

the weave of tracks, the cluster of divots in the new spring grass,
the sloping verge, not a gorge but enough incline

to send the car into a double barrel roll. Tighten the shot
along the serpentine pattern to the spin, the topple, the rollover.

Then a slo-mo take: wallets, phones, cigarette butts and coffee cups and coins
cascading around them in a hail of the quotidian.

Pan the emergency ward’s waiting room while x-rays pulse
over his shoulder joints, over her gnathic and neck regions.

Flashback to them lying sideways, windshield glass showering
onto their captive bodies. Alone on a country road,

no cavalry charge, no white knight. Zoom in
on their faces. The screams fading

as they unclasp seatbelts and tumble together. As they lean
their panic into the door above them, force its ruined hinges.

As they crawl out and collapse intact on the grass.
Fade to the tires of the toppled Jeep spinning in the spring wind.


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