Someone once told me
life is like driving
with one headlight busted.
You can’t see much
but you can see enough
to stay on the road.
It sounded too close to destiny
wrapped up as a given
for those with cars
or perhaps even torchlight
to stumble on by.
In the moment before the train
do you ever wonder…
a side effect of an anxious mind
designed to keep you from harm
by popping ideas in your head
with enough force to flinch.
But it’s all unreal
until enough breath is breathed
to put steel into the words
that dance like paper on a line
in our heads.
New cars have automatic lights.
They come on when night falls
without the need
of human intervention.
My car is still old, growing older,
it comes with a choice to make.
This poem seems to narrow down on that final couplet, like an arrowhead. It sent me back to re-read, and I wondered if it’s all about the contrast between “choice” and “destiny” – a state where we have no choice?
In terms of the prompt, you incorporated the words so smoothly I wouldn’t have spotted them without italics!
I wasn’t sure which ones I was going to use until I started writing. I redrafted the ending because the first one felt too similar to my other poems. I’ve found I have a tendency to end on the same note so I’ve trying to actively avoid sounding the same each time.
This is so well done… the way you close this is like opening up a whole new world of freedom… but I also feel that even when choosing the choices are limited.
Choices are always limited your right, and I’m glad you liked the end, I always finding endings much trickier than beginnings.
For me, sometimes endings write themselves. My pen stops, and the last words written are like a dog whistle. There are people who avoid making choices. I make them quickly enough, but then have to live with the consequences.
That choice means you are in control Carol. Whether things are clear or less clear, we are in control of our lights, ot our lives. May we always be. I liked this. Was that wonder just before the train wondering whether to jump, or am I bring way to dark and off base? I liked this piece!
I think it’s called intrusive thoughts. It’s a way of your brain protecting you by going what if you did jump? You have no intention of going it or desire to, but your brain suggests it to make you more cautious about your surroundings.
you made some excellent choices with this poem 😉
Nice lines: “But it’s all unreal
until enough breath is breathed”
I kind of wonder now if my old car turns on the lights at night without my assistance – probably not. I don’t drive enough to really need a car.
I loved your word journey. I, too, cling to my venerable Buick LeSabre, telling those who wonder why I don’t buy a new car with all the new-fangled conveniences that I do not want a car smarter than I am!
I had to search for the words they are so well placed/used in the flow here.
I am so engrossed in the reading and then am hit with the ending….what it all comes down to is choice. When I think about it….what an interesting metaphor about life today with all our technological advancements so advanced that many times we just assume that’s the way it is. We forget…we have a choice or we used to have a choice…..standard transmission? What’s that? 😊
Such creative analogies. Loved this.
What a great comparison, I never thought of the simile nor the change of contrast between life and progression of cars but I love the emotion you’re evoking!