Close Call

by Ciaran O’Driscoll

                                               There was a car
speeding towards you on the same side of the road,
coming headon against you but you swerved
to the other side, lessening the impact
to a glancing backdoor blow, and for a moment
you were the one in the wrong lane but no one
crashed into you that moment and you spun
to a halt on the grassy margin, the car
facing the way you came and there was silence.
And you described the silence as nothing
of any consequence, not a big deal
matteroffact as the fact that you were dead,
that you had lived and this was how your life
had come to an end. And what will happen now?
you wondered calmly, then you realized
that you were still alive and felt no pain,
so you waited for the pain to strike and when
it didn’t, you unbuckled your seat belt,
opened the driver’s door and made your way
back to the world of the living, walking
towards three women, the nearest witnesses,
who asked were you all right and you asked for
your glasses and your handbag, and one woman
went to the car to get them, saw a pack
of cigarettes in the handbag’s sidepocket,
and said you could do with one but you refused,
a decision that puzzles you to this day.