U-Turn by Naomi Thiers

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I can’t turn around, I can’t go back.
I’ve worn a rut in all my years of love
and worry; my life never takes me off.
I request to be reborn as a skipped rock.
I stop the car by the Bay Bridge and watch the sun—
more generous than humans are inclined to be—
cast diamonds in dirty water. That was once
my dream—to give everything I owned away.
I think of the woman driving Cypress Street Viaduct
in the ’89 quake who heard God hiss: go back.
Sharp U-turn: With horn and chutzpah, she made it off
seconds before the upper deck collapsed.
I’ve told my friends that story, and I’ve dreamed
of it, the way her wheel jerked in the sun.

During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco, the two-level Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed so that cars driving on the bottom level were crushed.

U-Turn by Naomi Thiers (c) Copyright Naomi Thiers; printed by permission of the author.

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