Mark Danowsky: Flashback at the ER

Mark Danowsky

Flashback at The ER

I could have tried harder

to force you to go

after I held you drenched

in the downpour

after I left work

in a focused panic

after you finally admitting severity

no police you insisted  

me searching the bridge for you

under the bridge

finally finding you

quaking drenched

holding a soaked tote bag

containing your favorite books

your long terrible sobs 

no 302 you begged 

a psych visit already scheduled 

apologies & assurances  

before I left you huddled on the porch 

with your new guardian

a man who it turned out did not comprehend 

the scope & imminent danger

just as when I backed away

I said, I need you to let me go

but it was only meant for days 

just for those few days

to attend a wedding 

I needed to be there for

& still missed  

& I tell myself I cannot have known

how a so-called accident 

waiting to happen

does not hit home as accident

the gut punch you never see coming

is the hit you convince yourself

you are tensed up

prepared to take


Mark Danowsky is Editor-in-Chief of ONE ART: a journal of poetry. He is the author
of four poetry books. His latest poetry collection is Meatless (Plan B Press). Take Care is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press in 2025.

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