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. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s