Crucial Decisions
by Gail Denham

Memory of that impossible
and idiotic decision to drive
while super tired brought
such misery, since it cost Amber
her life. Shouldn’t this intense
grief halt after four years?

Yet it lingers to the point where
I never know calm, except
when my body’s rigid under
that gorgeous crazy quilt Amber
created. The quilt's softness reminds
me of her.

My face glazes over as I wake
and my mind zigzags from blunt
dreams that leave me in a sweat.
I ought to turn a deaf ear to the
haunting; still reason evades me.

I watch the winds whip leaves toward
windows, enjoy the wild sound of waves
that pound toward shore at our beach cabin,
take frequent nature walks in our woods,
but still, I’m left with memories
of Amber’s voice screaming “stop”.

At times I’m tempted to jump into
the surf, off the roof, fulfill the karma
that is mine for my prideful death-
defying joy ride that rainy night.

You, the reader, examine your moves,
know that decisions bear life-long


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