Collision Course


PAD Challenge #12  For Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, write a “forget what they say” poem. To do this, you could take a familiar saying and spin it on its head. Or comfort someone who’s being told they can’t do something. Or have the narrator of the poem pledge not to listen to the crowd. Or forget what I’ve said here, and do it your own way.

Collision Course

Wouldn’t, couldn’t listen.
Had to leave because my soul
was bleeding. Scared by anger
rushing through veins, screaming
of what could, or would, be gained
by speaking on behalf of some stranger?
Drove home through dark, knowing
heavy heart was in danger. Appalled,
that they would not offer even one
possibility for other choices.

Sleepless night, hearing their voices
as they said that she, this unknown
young woman, was no more
than a suicide, only waiting, looking
for right time and place to collide.

Said that she, this unknown young
woman, must be fueled by years
of unspeakable abuse only seeking
an ending. So, what would be use
of stepping in, when it was inevitable,
would certainly happen. Pointless,
they said, to intercede, when energies
were definitely needed elsewhere.

And promptly forgot, all that they’d
said, when next day, finally met
that frightened, fragile, and supposed
to be, unknown young woman.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/12/10


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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4 Responses to Collision Course

  1. Mary says:

    How sad that someone would not intercede because ‘energies were needed elsewhere.’ Glad that their minds were changed when they met her. For me perhaps the lesson is that people may be cold-hearted or less than sympathetic if they do not actually KNOW someone (whether that person has mental illness, is an abuse victim, a victim of a natural disaster, or whatever); but if that person has a FACE to them, especially if they actually MEET that person, their opinions may change a lot! You are doing a powerful series of poems, Elizabeth!

    Hi Mary. I was at dinner with them when the topic came up, and felt such immediate rage, I had to leave, all for a person I didn’t know. Then next day, met her and know I could not just sit dumb. So mouthed off, got a laugh and a soft gentle smile and the rest is history. They too, came to know her and were very supportive and encouraging to both of us. And that makes what you say even more real. It really is much harder when there is a very real face that you can see and know. Thanks again, for your reading and understanding,



  2. Dear Elizabeth

    Another wonderful write. I loved the title. Yes, sometimes we can’t hear….what is being said. Beautiful image of bleeding soul,….bleeding Madonna. Scared by anger. And the image of you driving through the “dark”, suggests danger. But sometimes there are not other choices. “It” cannot be fixed.

    You have spoken a truth here. Sometimes I think this is the “way out.” Certainly not acceptable to others, but we should have the choice.

    The worst image you have painted is, “years of abuse.”

    I think you pose a great question. If it’s inevitable, what would be the use? Would it make us feel better? I’m not saying we could do otherwise, we just do try to fix it. But you did say it is “inevitable.”

    “And promptly forgot.” Is the end of the poem for me. To me this speaks of the world….when we promptly forget.


    Annell, once I jumped in with both feet, and my mouth, of course, the whole picture changed. There is always room for hope and something better. ‘They’ became a huge part of a loving and caring support network, some of which still exists to this day. I guess I couldn’t accept that word inevitable when it came to that unknown young woman’s life. Someone had to care enough to take, and give, a chance for other choices. There’s an old saying, “You are the one who saw it, so you must be the one to do something about it.” I did and have no regrets about doing so. Thanks for your generous words,



  3. vivinfrance says:

    Elizabeth, this is a masterly way of telling a compelling story. I’m so glad you went in with both feet! Your use of slant rhyme and assonance is awe-inspiring.

    You write in stanza 3 “So, what would be use” I think it needs a “the” to make full sense.

    Thank you for your comment on my 5 love languages poem. I have added a third stanza, taking due account of your advice!

    Viv, I actually had the ‘the’ in there originally, but I write a lot of prose and then have to go back and check the poetry for prosiness, cause it sneaks in when I’m not looking, lol. Thanks for the tip and I’m glad you did the third stanza. I almost wrote one for you in your comments section, but decided it might be best to just suggest that, lol. And thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement,



  4. Diane T says:

    Once I began to read this poem, I found my heart racing. How very awful that people would look at someone somewhat dismissively as a ‘suicide about to happen.’ She was a human being after all. I am glad they looked at her differently the following day. I don’t know where this all is leading, but I hope in the end she was able to be helped. Strong writing, Elizabeth.

    As I said before, I don’t really know where it is going. Just following the leadings and the words. And yes, for a while she did find help. Thank you for your generous words, Diane,



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