That Close

Going to work in the dark. (20 years of night shift.)
The simple trek from walk-up to outdoor lot.
A nasty gust sending his hat rolling fast
toward the riverbank behind the block.
He ran to retrieve it and tumbles unseen
into the bushes, twigs, and nettles below.
The long plunge downward to moonlit waters.
His own private descent into darkness
and inglorious death potentially.
A man just going to work alone.
No one else to care or know
he’d been whisked away by the darkness of oblivion.


(This actually almost happened to my father in his late 50s. Though he was lucky to stop his fall and return to his apartment covered in nettles, mud, and refuse to the shock and horror of my mother–“Del, what happened?” He got away with minor scrapes and no significant damage to eyes or face. What became of the hat, I don’t know. You’ll have to write the ending for it.)

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