• Poems

    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.