The Accident

Posted May 24, 2010, at 8:29 a.m.

The last thing I remember – the slip slide, the tree, an ash,
about eight inches around, and straight trunked
as from a sapling grown in young woods reaching above the canopy.
And then, the crack of pain, the lower arm dangling.
My brain couldn’t comprehend: the pain below the shoulder,
but the motionless hand below the waist.
So I held my hand up and hiked out, another mile to the road,
murmuring the stories we tell ourselves to get down a mountain.

why oh why oh why
I could have stayed at home and finished writing,
but I wanted a hike before the rain.
I could have gone to Cameron Mountain as planned;
I went to Beech Hill.
I could have taken the fork on the right; I took the left.
Ah, the careless possibilities of our choices – the last
thing we remember. And then.


Linda Buckmaster is poet laureate of Belfast. Her collection “Heart Songs and Other Legacies” was published in 2006.

Story continues below advertisement.



Similar Articles

More in Living