Be Prepared to Stop
The highway signs at exit 225's
pixelated letters urge me to "Slow Down"
and "Be Prepared to Stop".
But I can't stop because that would
make it real--
would take the patient with the
tubes snaking her trachea and put
the face back in its place at the
kitchen table with a cigarette
and a cup of coffee offering advice
how long to wait
for the better interest rate--
would take the purpled hands
with the sandbag bands and
put them back
where they smack a bottom
or wipe a nose
or fold all those midnight clothes.
To make it real would
make it mine
that I didn't get her on the line
in time to save the vein
that rained through her brain--
would make it hers
where I want to scream the words
that she never heard--
Be Prepared to Stop.
©Copyright Stephanie L. Soder