Technically the poem is not new. I wrote it last summer for a workshop I took at the 92nd Street Y with poet Cornelius Eady. It was a great workshop and it was nice to be back with a group of poets, writing new work and workshopping poems.
Read the poem at the 92nd Street Y’s online literary journal Podium: What I Remember
This poem will probably never be complete for me. It took me about 13 years to write it and will probably take another 13 of me fiddling with the lines before I stop working on it, just because it’s such an important subject for me. The poem is about a car accident I was in when I was 19. I divide my life into two sections: Before the Accident and After the Accident, and I have a reminder of my accident that I see every day, a scar on my face. In the early years, this was the bane of my existence, but now I sometimes forget it’s there.
My life changed that day on the New Jersey Turnpike (both positively and negatively) and sometimes I wonder what life would have been like for me if I had never been in that accident. I don’t want to go back and change a thing, because there were many lessons I learned about myself and self-esteem that I probably never would have learned had I not been in that accident. It made me a stronger person…I just wish I wasn’t still so afraid of cars!
I found a writing prompt (wish I could remember where) that said to take a memory and be very specific about what you remember, pick sometime small and write only about the memory from that perspective. I picked six things that stand out for me from the accident: silence, teeth, blood, flying, ER, and going home right after the accident.