I Could Not Tell
I could not tell I had jumped off that bus,
that bus in motion, with my child in my arms,
because I did not know it. I believed my own story:
I had fallen, or the bus had started up
when I had one foot in the air.
I would not remember the tightening of my jaw,
the irk that I’d missed my stop, the step out
into the air, the clear child
gazing about her in the air as I plunged
to one knee on the street, scraped it, twisted it,
the bus skidding to a stop, the driver
jumping out, my daughter laughing
Do it again.
I have never done it
again, I have been very careful.
I have kept an eye on that nice young mother
who lightly leapt
off the moving vehicle
onto the stopped street, her life
in her hands, her life’s life in her hands.
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Comments about this poem (I Could Not Tell by Sharon Olds )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(13 February 1879 - 2 March 1949)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Sheldon Allan Silverstein
(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1924 - 2000)
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