Moxham Ave

Moxham Ave

I folded my book shut primly
glanced out of the bus window
there were the big boys cycling
to school like the big boys do.

His front wheel caught in gravel
and as he fell he caught my eye
I am the last person he saw as he
fell gracefully under the wheels.

In his eyes, wild surmise, Is this?
He said I’m falling. Will I die?
I said Yes. As I reached to save him.
And then I couldn’t see him anymore.

That was one godawful, unholy crunch.
A woman stood up in the bus, screamed
That was his bike! That was his bike!
But I don’t think any of us believed her.

John Mardell ran like a wild person
up and down all the long front paths
hammering on the doors, not waiting
long enough for anyone to answer.

Much too late. We had ridden that crunch.
The driver froze in an irretrievable moment
—his foot stamped on the brake—then leapt
in an impossible arc out of his seat and into

what came next.

Jennifer Compton

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