Sunday, February 12, 2006

Now...honestly, Abe!

Today, on the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, I celebrate an anniversary. It was many, many, years ago, age 9 to be exact, that while stepping off of a streetcar ( that might give you some sense as to…!) in Chicago, after seeing the movie “Shane,” (that might also help as to…) I was struck by a large semi-tractor trailer truck. I fell beneath its wheels and undercarriage and suffered many injuries including a compound fracture of my right leg. It was a wet and snowy late afternoon. No! I didn’t die! But…last year I wrote a poem entitled “Streetcar” that was inspired by the memory of that day. I’ve placed this poem on my post in the past but I felt that today was a special day so I hope you won’t mind the repeat. I have two versions; one is punctuated the other is not. I have chosen to post the one that is not punctuated.

Streetcar


A current of lines with wheels honed
A city’s gondola on cobblestone
A melody sung in the wake of rain
A song in motion with no refrain

A rider in step with the hum of rhyme
An exit in space to the fate of time
A view of the heavens from underfoot
A blackened carriage was undertook

A lapse in memory as to speed
A crawl to safety was in need
A dampness cold he did behold
A wonder that he could grow old

A sense of wetness he will always carry;
A symbol of fortune’s corollary
Aware that water had a role
As baptism did upon his soul.

14 Comments:

Blogger Brenda said...

Oh, oh, oh! I can't imagine what you've been through! How that day has haunted you. How you've healed and all the ways your body remembers the assault. And I am overwhelmed by your gratitude for your life, that the gift of growing old has not been taken from you... many hugs my dear friend. A day to celebrate indeed. xo

4:25 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Ay, ay, ay! What an experience - a wonder that he will grow old - a perspective altering experience, I'm sure. a sense of wetness he will always carry is a very interesting line. I will be thinking about that one. This is a special day for you! And for us, mi amigo. I'm happy to celebrate with you. Thank you for the story and for posting this again.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Falter Ego said...

I can't imagine an experience like that not having a significant impact on your "other" set of skills we discuss.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

falter ego: If I understand you correctly as to the "other" skill we discuss, yes, it has had a great impact on me. I am very appreciative of the life I have been gifted as well as the opportunity to hopefully give something back.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Wow! This is an aspect of your life we've never discussed much. I can see how it would set a young boy spinning in dangerous new directions. I'm glad you made it through. Happy anniversary!

2:56 AM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Richard: I'm surprised I haven't spoken some to you about my childhood experience. We have shared much during our friendship. We shall have to catch up.

I've been to your post everyday and am happy to see the enthusiasm and direction with which you have chosen to enrichen your life. Congrats! And...thank you for the Happy Anniversary! I am sure we will share many more.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

Amazing story and poem.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Celebration for sure! Now as for the poem...Have you seen "the princess and the warrior"?

6:26 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Hola! Meridith. Thanks for stopping by. No! I'm not familiar with the princess and the warrior. Can you tell me more?

7:43 PM  
Blogger Lhombre said...

Patry: Thanks for the comment. It was an amazing day. Apparently, a meaningful one in ways I wouldn't have understood at the time.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous mer/blue/edith said...

Hi Dan (and others)!! The Princess and The Warrior is a Film with a most remarkable "truck hitting a pedestrian scene". There is also a padded room scene I think you would like quite a bit. Oh and I think there is a muse in the film, and you know how sometimes one might feel like two people? that's in the film as well.

5:23 PM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

Wow, that's powerful--and so respectful of how young people--younger selves--experience things.

I can't possibly be truly empathetic of your experience. But I was badly mauled by a dog, who dragged me 'round by my head, as a very young child--necessitating more than one plastic surgery--so I'm pretty sure I have an insight or two.

It's very powerful to me that you were able to relate to that through a poem.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Mer said...

I think the notion of a wet day that carries itself into a visceral baptism is very striking. Almost like paint, my liquid friend.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

One finds meaning in one's suffering and I am glad that you survived.

3:05 AM  

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