Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In Case of Emergency

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

In Case of Emergency

Article excerpt

My son said he felt sick

on Rochester Road in our old blue Escort

on the way to visit my oldest friend-

Christmas and we-

now, he said. I took off my hat

and he leaned forward from the back seat.

A year later, that car got totaled

right in front of the house

by a student checking her phone,

spring, and out in the backyard

I was turning over-crash-

I stumbled down to the street

to blown airbags, smoking cars.

Tree branches sway tall in the wind.

My son, many states away now,

will not wear a hat. My next car,

a Villager, hit a deer at night, and-

looks like rain. What do you think?

Don't throw me a surprise party.

My oldest friend, a third-generation

upholsterer, just went bankrupt.

He works out of his garage

to try and keep his house.

Slow leaks, and then the flood.

My son's voice on the phone

wants to know, did he do

the right thing? …

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