Week Five: “Helpless”


Annie saw the accident
lighting up the distance
We pulled over to see what we could do
The truck was in the left land
A girl was pinned beneath it
crying out two names to god-knows-who

We called for an ambulance
and a fire truck to come here
breathless with the details we could see:
An F-150, maybe white,
overturned and burning
right outside of town on 33

[chorus]
Helpless as a child
playing wise to something he don’t understand
Helpless as a child
trying to make the world fit in his hands

The cars began to back up
for a mile, maybe longer
On the other side traffic came to a crawl
I was choking on the fumes
and Annie’s hands were frozen
Never have I felt so very small

We listened and we listened
but the sirens wouldn’t come
The minutes cut like hours in our bones
And the crying girl beneath the car
went quiet and ashen,
colorless and heavy like a stone

We’d been fighting all night
about something important
like jealousies and where and when to eat
And when the medics finally came
we watched them do their business
and pull two little boys from the backseat

[chorus 2x]

The road ahead was empty
like a lone processional
The home we share was quiet like a tomb
We called our family
and told them that we love them
and held each other close against the moon

[chorus 2x]

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