Richard Swanson

Back to PoetryNear Miss Rual Highway

Near-miss, Rural Highway 

In hiding, in the cover of
culvert, sumac, and sunset light.

Out suddenly, road’s edge, a chestnut blur,
panicked, breaking.

Inside: panicked, braking.

Huge there, an arc, the windshield
filled with it. Brake harder. Harder!

Contact! Collision!

Really? None? Impossible!

Talk. Talk, talk, talk.  (Shaking).
A whitetail, right?
Inches. Missed us by–must have.

Amazement, release:
This just happened? Not to someone else?
We’re still here, are we?

Driving (slower).  Braking, testing.
Somewhere to get to . . . which was . . . ?

Breath in, breath out . . .
space behind us.

Oh lovely space and time.


Richard Swanson was the winner of the Posner Award from the Council of Wisconsin Writer in 2006, and is the author of a recent chapbook on popular culture, Paparazzi Moments (Fireweed Press). He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

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