Since the Accident
By Laura McHale Holland
Since the accident, the sun shines only at half mast and wrens roost in other yards. All day, she looks out the window as pine needles fall to the ground. At night, he drinks alone in the den while she knits in the bedroom.
Since the accident, soot falls from the clouds and rats nibble on the insulation in their attic. Over breakfast, their tongues bleach memories of that day from bright to blurred to translucent. No gouge remains in the trunk of an old oak tree; their Camry is not scorched; a blue tricycle is no longer smashed at the side of the road; a child is not struggling for each breath in a hospital bed.
He opens the front door and steps onto a porch stabbed with icicles. He walks down the empty driveway and into the street. She follows. Hand in hand they amble down blocks they used to know but no longer recognize. Horns blare for them to get out of the road. They pause at a curb, each one wanting to go home, neither one knowing the way.