Street Corner Second

Stop. Take stock.
All right, so
you’re frozen
deerstruck in the intersection
with the car blazing forward
with its flashing lights atop
probably making it a cop car.
The stroller’s been shoved out of the way
so the kid’s safe.

The drunk
prone by the lamppost
with one eye open
let his bottle fall
rolling into the street
but its path has slowed to a crawl
because of the adrenaline-paralysis
overwhelming all sensory inputs.
A biker avoids the siren-swirling police
racing to their emergency
swerving right into that bottle
exploding it
letting a particularly long piece fly
direct into my thigh.

The biker is safe.

The drunk is safe.

The cops arrive safely
to their emergency
without running me over.

The resting bum’s single slit eye
has a view of the entire chain of events
once time kicks back into gear
and everyone survives the events.
Shattered glass avoids him entirely
so he is free to see the blood
tearing down my slacks
I think
as I stumble to the sidewalk.

He checks to see if I’m all right.
I nod
I think
before I stop
and take stock
for a very long time.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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