The Beginning of a Memory About a Previous Death

Coming out of a parking space,
full of life and gym sweat,
pulling round to make the car straight,

I moved (or rather the car moved) north
and at about five miles an hour,
accelerating slightly, but slowly,

aware of children or their possibility
and the dashing out that children bring,
as I also once dashed out to be

hit squarely by another car,
an older English model,
and not quite die

although my four year old skin,
in memory, shredded off
and my mother was screaming.

Action Men were six and six.
I got threepence a week.
I was saving, about half way there.

They bought me my own
without negotiation.
Not worth it, but still, something.

On the ground and squashed
(what a word that is, squashed),
black against black, but obvious,

there was a freshly dead bird,
as though passed over by a car,
but still in places re-inflated.

I did not swerve, but avoided it,
ensuring it remained centrally
between my two front wheels

in a very deliberate moment,
not of grace so much,
but instinctive respect,

for the dead are indeed grave,
and when it’s over it’s done with,
but not for those then left.

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