Shattered Glass

Before the spinning,

out of control,

the shattered glass flying, 

and my brain rolling upside-down…

I’d set an alarm

to wake myself from dreaming,

splash water on my face, and

throw on my fashion of the day,

as I downed dripped coffee,

and dash into the frenzied machinations

of the weekly blur of the marketplace.

But, that ordinary day,

bathed in beguiling sunshine,

had dissolved into clumps of uprooted grass,

that flew past my crumbling windshield,

hypnotizing my psyche.

Not a mark was on me.

But, inside…

worlds had collided.

Where I had entered, carefree and laughing,

I stumbled out, stunned,

scraping soft skin on razor-sharp glass,

blood dripping, unnoticed, onto the green grass.

My sole comfort: a sign proclaiming mutely,

across the highway, in front of a little church,

“Jesus. The Way. The Truth. The Life.”

In a collision with catastrophe,

I had emerged alive.

Later, I slept, until

burning liquid pain began pouring out the back of my brain.

With no such thing as house calls anymore,

my only option was

to careen over hellish highways, for..

Medications. Tests. Surgeries. More meds.

Then, it was 9/11,

and I watched

and felt



Dazed days

dissolved into years.

Tears stopped falling…

an empty chasm remained.

The sticking doors and windows of my silent house

arrested me with their stubbornness,

having to be shoved open by force,

due to a lacking of use.

Countless mornings were spent,

with curtains drawn, shunning the light.

Cobwebs hung, mocking me


At night,

the blanket of dark and silence

enveloped me like an ethereal shroud,

as I wandered from room to room, 

while my mind shouted at me to awaken.

For what?

This morning, 

this ordinary day,

I caught a glimpse of sunshine,

first silent, then,


through trill of birds

and chortles of squirrels,

all oblivious to my morosity.

I leaned, lethargically,

toward the dewy windowpane,

resting my head

against the cool solidity of the thin glass,

the self-imposed prison wall,

that kept me safe 

from unexpected harm.

One little bushytail stopped his furious scratching 

amidst the fiery flush of fallen fall leaves.

He stared, unblinking, at me,

for but a moment.

Then, he bounded, uncaring, on his merry way.

But, the unmistakable twinkle

of that beady eye

sparked an ember deep


that I thought had been extinguished

by the torrents of tears, over the years,

or had surely been smothered 

by the ashes, 

of all that remained

of everything 

that had been lost.

Suddenly, the sun had sound, 

the light had movement,

and my soul, long silent,

began to sing.

With renewed strength,

I threw open the window,

scattering the chorus of a dozen birds,

and felt the warm sunshine

mingled with the crisp breeze

of a new day…

a day in which, I would dress myself,

and call a friend,

and drive to meet her,

to converse over coffee

about how nice it is

to be alive.

Copyright 2015 Regina Plimpton Quinn

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