Abstract Magazine International | The Accident: Poem by Abigail Warren
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The Accident: Poem by Abigail Warren

24 Jul 2017, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: Maximilian Rau


Didn’t you see me coming?

No, I didn’t.

The adrenalin pumping through

our  wild and open veins

the body quick to take care of itself

the mind left on its own.

No, I didn’t see you coming,

going through the light

to make my turn

leaving the house at exactly

the time that would

have me crossing your path.

Finishing my morning coffee

throwing on jeans, a tee shirt

digging for sandals —


I didn’t see it coming

not the months of travelling

to and from my mother’s bedside

passing by the airport store

the same turquoise necklace

its large lump of blue rocks

glistening under lights

the same young woman behind

the counter, restless, bored.


After the cane,

after the walker, the wheelchair

after the portable commode

permanently parked

next to her bed —

she, horrified by its presence

as if it were the Eye of God

watching her move less and less

and in defiance, refusing Him

“Get it out of my house!”


I didn’t see it coming.

The oxygen mask

the hissing tank,

its pulsing …

then purrrrr,

the pulse ….

the hissssss

off long enough for morphine.


I did see you coming

but it was too late —

there you were with

your tattooed arms and

baggy blue pants, eyes

glaring at me, your hands

on your hips — too young

to know the weight of

children, the weight of

a dying mother

saying again and again,

Didn’t you see me coming?


Because even when you see it


everything slows

the woman flagging me forward,

the light turning

the sound of metal, glass


rising before dawn

only to watch death’s humiliation,

the cloth she can’t hold

the food she can’t eat

the pills she can’t swallow —


I moved through the turn

but could not stop

all the while knowing the end,

no thinking anymore

on the edge of the bed

my arm around her bony shoulder

I held the cup to her lips

let her sip the bitter drink

the only grace

left to give.


About the author:

Abigail Warren’s poetry has appeared in over twenty literary magazines, including Bluestem, decomP, Emerson Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Sakura Review, Tin House, and others, as well as in the anthology 30 Poems in November. She teaches at Cambridge College in Massachusetts.

About the artist:

Maximilian Rau is a photographer from a village in Southern Germany, currently studying in Sweden.



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