By Rolf Erickson
When the car stopped spun backwards on the shoulder of highway 34 it was so dark and so quiet I thought I was dead. So I said, "Hello?" my eyes still closed. And she said, "I'm here." That's when I knew it wasn't over yet. For two weeks I walked through space with a clear sensation of my body suspended by a thin string attached to the top of my head. And I knew in my heart that at any moment this string could be cut and I'd be dead. This is the truth of life that we are all hanging by a thread and deep down we know but don't want to. If we admit we know then we can feel the grip of fear like a cold hand on our throat. If we admit we know then we can feel the release of peace like a soft palm soothing our brow. Whether grip of fear or release of peace either way the message is always the same. Such a thin string. So many sharp edges in this big raw world. Nobody knows.
Rolf Erickson is a writer and editor, dancer and choreographer, gardener and tree-hugger living in Fairfield, Iowa. His poem “Carrying Milk” won the 2017 First-Time Entrant Special Award from the Iowa Poetry Association.