How DID That Happen?

I left the house at five forty-three
Winding my way through the valley trees,
Hit the highway without alarm
Then merged left

I did not see it standing there
Waiting to bolt across the lanes
A frantic look as he stared at me
The buck stops here

It’s not the car, despite the cost
It’s not the job, despite the loss
It’s not the trucker who didn’t stop
It’s not the cement wall I kissed.

If I had driven off the cliff instead of
Into the divider
The deer may have lived—
But goodness, I might not have.

So darkness brought that scary image of
Busting nostrils, and antler daggers tearing out
The Volvo’s green blood
And tossing the rear view mirror into oncoming traffic
And leaving me with a dangling, yellow turn signal,
A crumbled hood, fender and doors
A stack of ungraded papers
43 college essays to write
and a headache.

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