If only I had eaten her
fresh eggroll, or asked one more question
about the sago palm in the gallon pot.
Why hadn't I ask to see the blonde
furniture for sale inside,
or handed her a twenty
instead of exact change
for the box filled with plenty
of things she'd already kissed goodbye?
Anything for a few seconds delay
so fate would have stumbled,
cursed me for tick-tocking
with its clock.
The woman and her four friends
bled across the columns
of Sunday's paper—
lives ended at an intersection.
What could have been done
to keep her from leaving home,
picking them up precisely when she did,
hovered in the dead space
between my eyes and the front page.
Fate tapdanced on my guilt,
gracefully bowed from the darkness of its heart.
Steve Meador’s book Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree won the D-N Publishing 2008 National Book Competition and was released in April. It has been nominated for several awards, including a National Book Award, for poetry. He has appeared Umbrella, MIPOesias, Word Riot, Foliate Oak, Avatar Review & many others and he also has two chapbooks by Pudding House Publications. “Percy” is available from Amazon.com. A real estate broker, he lives in Florida with his wife and three sons.