Think of it and it won’t happen,
I’ve often thought. Too unlikely
to imagine the accident — you
in the car in the rain — then receive
the call. Too uncanny,
too much like a book.

In life, almost no one
recognizes what’s important
when it’s beginning — the comical bully
on his way to power, the shy boy
next door loading his gun, or the baby
in the barn, only the animals watching.

Then a few travelers arrive in the night.

Later, we can see the shape of the story,
or make one up, if we have to.

So you’re driving home in a terrible storm.
Rain lashes the windshield, great trees
are collapsing, but you’re safe
because the scene I’m picturing

won’t happen if I think of it first.
That’s what I keep telling myself
until the storm is over —
challenging the order of things
to show its hand, betting it won’t.

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