after the accident

January 6th, 2016


Last year about this time I told my husband our new azaleas were dying. The leaves looked like rust, and I thought I knew why. Not enough water, too much sun, the wrong plants in the wrong place, the money for nothing, the work wasted. Before pulling the dead ones out, he snipped some leaves and took them to the nursery. That’s when I learned something new.

The leaves of some evergreen azaleas turn red in winter.

Even good drivers in the morning rain

don’t see the other car coming.

Paint nicks. Glass cracks.

One world ends before another.

You are not safe.

So remember what your mother has told you:

Effect is the noun. Affect is the verb.

When in doubt, leave out the comma.

Add salt. Use butter.

Never serve food you haven’t tasted first.

Rinse stains in cold water.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow

but soon and for the rest of your life.

You’ll see.

In springtime, flowers bloom.

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  1. Thank you.

    Comment by Sarah Stanton — January 6, 2016 @ 8:49 am

  2. beautiful, thank you for this

    Comment by anne — January 6, 2016 @ 8:58 am

  3. thank you. so needed this. x

    Comment by stella shiny yoga — January 6, 2016 @ 1:23 pm

  4. Thank you.

    Comment by Gay — January 6, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

  5. “You are not safe”, is so oddly comforting to me.
    Thank you.

    Comment by marcea — January 7, 2016 @ 9:50 am

  6. This is just gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

    Comment by laurie wagner — January 9, 2016 @ 8:45 pm

  7. I’m reading this over and over in tears.
    I’ve lost enough to know I can’t bear anymore.
    I’ve lost enough to know I can bear anything. “The odds, they say, are one to one.”

    I’m waiting for flowers to bloom and learning that the beauty is in the anticipation. or even in the wish.
    Whether they bloom or not. Whether I’m here to see them or not.
    Love, and the desire for love, and the denial of love are the same.

    Comment by Maria — January 10, 2016 @ 9:29 pm

  8. Lovely! thank you

    Comment by Elizabeth Lynch — January 11, 2016 @ 6:26 am

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