My child is in the backseat with her mother
and can’t understand what’s happening,
keeps forgetting we’ve already told her
that she fainted and hit her head hard
on our living room’s stone floor,
that we’re going to the hospital downtown
that has a special doctor for kids, but everything
will be all right, and though she doesn’t believe
our reassurances — knows, even concussed,
that we would lie to calm her — she listens
each time until we pause, and then she blinks
and the awful loop repeats itself — What happened?
Where are we going? — but what’s also happening
is that all the lights are green and have been green
for miles, each one ushering us on, some
turning right before I’m about to brake,
some not needing to change, unblinking eyes
watching us approach from far down the street,
the same street I will drive on much later
when all will be well, when my daughter will know
what happened, and I will be late for a meeting
or so hungry that just thinking will feel like anger,
and the light will stop me, and, as promised,
I won’t curse or hit the steering wheel — I won’t
even sigh, but instead will look up and remember
the small miracle I received when I needed it
and that pauses like these are also needed
to revive my gratitude, which should be
ongoing, steady, constant, without end.