Thursday

White Coat


No one wanted to approach the truck
immediately after the accident as they were
sure they would find a dead man inside.
That's what the woman first on the scene said.

How could it be otherwise with a dumptruck
sitting on his lap?  Some years of working
a firetruck prepared her somewhat for the
blood and mangled parts but not for the man

who looked up and asked her if  she could
please move his seat back.  Astounded she
ripped the rearview mirror, now resting
on his face, from the debris and apologized

for her inability to comply.  Her companion,
a nurse, removed her white coat and placed it
over him best she could with the dashboard
now swaddling him as closely as a newborn

by his mother. This white coat, how ruined
it must have been by the bits of flesh and
floods of blood, by the long machinations
required to remove him from metal's embrace.

No more tears for the man.  We've other work
required and tears hold only empty promise:
salt water but without the shells, the sun or sand.

For the white coat, however, I think I'll shed a few.