Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 87,866 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Accidental - Poem by Daniel Brick

In the blink of a random
question crossing my mind,
it happened,
and everything changed.
She ran without thinking,
looking neither left nor right,
darting into the street
toward the one who made her smile.

All the driver could have seen
was a blond blob of hair
bouncing over his car's roof -
then the collision,
then the shock.
One of my many students
her name was Laurel,
often self-absorbed and pretty.

I slammed on my brakes, stopped
my car in the middle of Marshall Avenue.
I thought,
Was that the last time
I will see that smile?

I rushed across the street,
looking neither left nor right,
already grieving for her broken body.
But she was already standing,
dazed, whole, miraculously safe.
She did not hear me speak
as I steadied her trembling body.
Her friend arrived,
hugged her, and said
exactly what had to be said.
She was the better comforter.


After the necessary statements,
and the endless phone calls,
the driver stood,
conspicuous, confused,
alone in the crowded office.
A gray-faced man
with thinning hair
and sagging cheeks,
his hands fell to his sides
like pale rain.
No one noticed him,
his face an emblem of remorse.
Suddenly, I realized
I could have been that man.
I was only the witness.
Next time,
I may be the comforter,
he will be the witness,
and she will be the driver.

Topic(s) of this poem: narrative


Comments about Accidental by Daniel Brick

  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (11/27/2016 7:00:00 AM)

    No one noticed him,
    his face an emblem of remorse.
    Suddenly, I realized
    I could have been that man.
    I was only the witness.
    Next time,
    I may be the comforter,
    he will be the witness,
    and she will be the driver.
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (Report)Reply

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  • Sally Plumb Plumb (5/16/2015 1:40:00 AM)

    What can I say..... another marvel. (Report)Reply

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  • Galina ItalyanskayaGalina Italyanskaya (12/7/2014 8:10:00 PM)

    Poor guy, that driver!
    I think he needed comforting not less than she.
    Once my friend was riding a bike in the park and took the path leading down the hill to the road. She was only learning to ride, that's why she couldn't manage brakes and crashed right into the car passing by. She was so lucky to survive and got hurt only a little, and even her bike was safe, but she crushed the door of the car. She was so afraid of what she had done that at once she grasped the bike and run away listening to the swearing of the driver. Then she came to me, I bound up her wounds and listened her apprehensions concerning his intention to find her and force her to pay for the repairs. I could only suppose that the driver was so happy that she stayed alive in such situation, that he would forgive her for the crushed door as soon as he told out what he thinks of her and her ability to ride a bike. It's the worst thing to drivers to kill somebody, even if it's not his fault. And who is the victim of the accident then? Only that person who wrecked? Or also the driver who will live with the feeling that he is a murderer?
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  • Susan LacovaraSusan Lacovara (5/13/2014 10:18:00 AM)

    Isn't most of life accidental? At any time, at any crosswalk, we step into the moving oncoming traffic that is change and circumstance...at times the driver, sometimes passenger, others...the witness, dare I say, another time, the victim....Right place, wrong time...wrong place, right time. Best to look both ways before crossing. Your hand brings to life these souls. Great piece. PEACE (Report)Reply

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  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (5/12/2014 12:50:00 AM)

    i sometimes think how one person is punished so severely for a moment of indiscretion or inattention, because the result is disastrous for another person(s) . should a person be jailed for life because she/he, in a moment which can't be retrieved, killed or raped someone? well, hopefully such punishments serve as deterrents to others. and in some cases they must protect future would-be victims, AND sometimes bring some comfort to the victims or victims' relatives/friends.
    this is a little off the mark of this particular poem, but i hope i didn't bore anyone. bri :)
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  • Bri EdwardsBri Edwards (5/12/2014 12:41:00 AM)

    his hands fell to his sides
    like pale rain. .........................i especially liked these lines.

    your poem's ending is spooky! this is an example of a twist of fate; not that i believe in fate.

    thanks for sharing. bri :)
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  • Noreen CardenNoreen Carden (5/8/2014 5:21:00 AM)

    Indeed there but for the grace of God go I. I loved the way you let us look at this from a different side. Very well written to make us consider the nature of accidents just a second in your lifespan can change it irrevocably (Report)Reply

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  • Diane HineDiane Hine (4/28/2014 6:34:00 AM)

    We tend to underestimate the dangers involved in driving. I wonder if stone-age hunters used to be similarly over-confident. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 27, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 20, 2014


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