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Allan's Poem of the Week: "Collisions"


I'm operating from memory
and my facts are shaky,
but that's not the point.
In 1906 in Dayton, Ohio
there were only
two automobiles
and on a fateful day
they collided.
On a day of heavy snow
in town, all the residents
of the block have
shoveled their walks.
Except one, who merely
cut a shovel-width lane
past his house.
Two pedestrians moving
toward each other both arrive
at the narrow lane at once.
Such little intersections are
the stuff of life.
If you must be first
you'll collide.
If you wait and
let the other pass,
you'll enjoy your dinner.
If, as on the sidewalk,
you both step aside
in chivalry and walk
through the snow while
the narrow path goes untrod,
you'll know the meaning
of letting be
but not letting have.

From Allan Cox's collection, "Cool in the Shade."
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