Monday, April 25, 2016

Adolfo Caso Shares Personal Memories of Son's Accident in... GPS to Love Lane... During National Poetry Month

GPS to Love Lane

By Adolph Caso

To assuage the pain from daily living,
Our human psyche automatically
Into our brains,
Things and incidents we need to forget:
To make life livable,
In relative happiness--
Rather than continuous drudgery;
For, memories of joy remain vivid in our consciousness,
While those of pain never entirely go away
Neither from main events,
Nor from those details that mortify the soul.

That the GPS consider
The conditions of our hearts!

Programmed with the distant address,
The virtual voice emits
Its unexpected order to take a left,
Love Lane!
My heart pounding,
The accelerator refuses
To be pressed by my foot.
I push for another direction—
Pulse in throat!

Up ahead, the large oak stands erect,
Its bark closing in onto itself
Like a whirlpool swirling downward in slow motion:
Everything going down its vortex
Passes through,
With no returns of any kind!
If healing appears on the tree’s bark,
No such transformation encompasses my heart.

There, the front of my 1964 Mustang:
Signs of its bumper wrapped around its trunk--
I see the image of my son:
Between life and death.
I swerve drastically into another street,
And speed to the hospital.

Can one defeat death!

His eyes closed,
His jaws wired shut,
I take his hands into mine:
“Richard, Richard, wake up!”
Receiving no response,
I wait while rubbing his hands in turn.
“Richard, Richard,”
I repeat in a louder, beseeching voice.
Receiving no response,
Apprehensively, I order him:
“Open, open your eyes!” I command,
As fathers do.
No response!
Suddenly, his eyes open.
“Dad, hi dad.” he repeats in a weak voice--
As if it were coming
Some realm of an underworld.
With no pattern of consciousness,
He immediately closes his eyes.
“Yes, Richard, I am here...with you.”

No need to know anything more.
The miracle vibrates in every cell of my body.

After parking the crippled Mustang in front of the garage,
Clipboard in hand,
The truck driver presents the release form.
“I don’t want the car; take it back!”
“What do you mean? You are the owner, aren’t you?”
“I don’t want it.”
“It’s worth lots of money.”
“Take it back!”
“I’ll buy it for one dollar...”
“Keep the dollar, and take it away—Now!”

As in so many things,
Insurance shows its ugly head.
“We need to meet at the hospital.”
“My son is well; I need assurance!”
“He’s made remarkable recovery.”
“Then, what do you want from me?”
“We need to settle payments.”
“Thanks for having delivered my son from death.
“I want nothing more; I am appreciative.
“You made the miracle possible.”

With no accounting to anyone,
And without phone GPS,
I make my way to the center of our town,
Purposefully taking the long round route--
By and through Love Lane—
The oak continues to grow.
I stand alone and in silence,
My mind full of confused thoughts
As I look at the effects of circularity
Produced by a bark
Enclosing onto itself,
As slowly,
As imperceptible
As space or time.

Like a vortex of water,
It transfers everything
Into a one-way tunnel
As if Destiny lost its grip on our future.

Nothing ever comes back—ever!

After a glance to the top of the oak,
I resume my journey to the town center,
And then back home.
Having completed the semi-circle,
I stand in front of the garage door,
On the very spot where the Mustang stood,
Grateful and thankful
That both--
My son and I
Survived the fatal vortex,
The better for it!

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