STRANDED


Halfway between here and there - nowhere

Darkness snow blinding at a dizzy pace

I push forth in contradiction (unreality)

Brown’s Lane - RR - and a sudden......

My head whizzes in dreamy unrealness

Stillness, silence darkness,

I shut all power

in conservation.

I am panicked,

I’ll freeze to death

Where to turn?

Only darkness.


Dizzily despaired in darkened desolation

Ditch, darkness, chains entangled and froze,

Red dash lights staring shouting,

“There is no power.”

“There is no power.”

There is no power greater than nature.


God

In the distance lights approaching

A good Samaritan, his wife and their retarded daughter

Take me into the comfort of their home unassuming.

Kindness, safely and warmth,

There is no greater power than nature.

Thanks!



Author’s Note: True Story. Driving back and forth from Louisville to St. Louis took me down mostly two lane highways, through Albion, IL, right after Brown’s Lane. The Good Samaritan lives on Brown’s Lane, long side the railroad. Having seen my lights and stopped to pick me up. They invited me to spend the night, apologizing for turning the heat off in the son’s room afore taking him to the Greyhound station in town that evening. I drew the curtain on the little room just off the kitchen, safe and sound. Next morning after a hearty breakfast, the father drove me the seven miles into Albion to get a wrecker to pull me out the ditch. I was on my way, arriving just in time for my 10 am child psychology class with Professor Brinley - You know the graduate school prof who used to forget his lit pipe in his tweed jacket, and we’d all take bets when the smoke would start to rising outta that pocket.


Every time for the next year, in passing, I would take a toy to the little girl on Brown’s Lane, chat a minute and thank ‘em again. About next year ‘bout Christmas, I brought a doll. A knock, a knock, knock and no one was there. A peek through the front window confirmed they had moved. To where I don’t know. carefully placing the doll on the porch perch, I left with just memories of the little family that pert‘neer saved my life that night. I still say a prayer now and then. Didn’t even catch their name. No need to. They were sent by God.

Poetry on My Mind, p63, 1965