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ARTICLES / CareVerses/ After the Accident

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After the Accident
By Austin Wallace

She rolls along
to some internal music we can't hear.

On sidewalks
glass shards crunch and pop beneath her tires.

Two vertebrae are broken
but her flexible smile contracts, expands,
a rubber band stretched tight.

Up the ramp we follow this new person
who has borrowed a familiar voice:
“one chai tea, please.”

The barista's busy eyes glaze.
she says at our foreigner.

We squirm like new parents,
all eyes on her disobedient fingers,
tea sloshing on a napkin
as she talks of TV shows, poetry.

For an hour we admire her onyx eyes,
her sun-kissed shoulders;
then we must return to jobs, lives and loves.

We watch as she rolls away,
out of our helpless hands
into partitioned dreams.





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