The Night You Saved The World
The speedometer hit a hundred twice as you
drove us North. We found your son a red wreck
of beer, sex, jealousy. His eyes like those suns
you see in winter, bleeding along the fibers
of the sky, limbs scalded in a brew of hate
and pain. The girl he’d broken off with (but still
possessed in some unspoken terms an outsider
like me could never understand) had gone to bed
with a guy he would have killed if we hadn’t
showed, if you hadn’t talked him down. Floored
him and his vices, big as he was. You had his
buddies take the battery from his car, stash it where
the sober could hardly find it; we left him asleep,
or just about, cradling his head in expectation,
a burned-out squib, a bomb that could only silently
tick, implode.
                                       Then you drove us home, a woman
vindicated. On the way, our headlights paralyzed
a possum, his bared teeth, fur, tensed nails a white
glare, except the eyes, two yellow hazard lights;
the thud echoed from bumper to universal. “Don’t
look,” you said, not slowing, not swerving,
not flattered God would give you
dominion over such a thing.