A Look in the Mirror

Emily R

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I would say I didn’t know what hit me, But I do and it was more like I hit them. You see, I had been focusing on myself. On my way to a hot date, running late, I had angled the rearview mirror to be facing me, I applied the lipstick smoothly as I left the street I lived on, And on the highway, I started with my eyeliner. I had been too absorbed in the blue of my eyes, Too focused on the song that was playing, And then I felt it. At first, I didn’t realize what was going on, I was confused and had an intense headache. I didn’t realize my forehead had hit the steering wheel. All of the sounds blended together, But I heard car horns, And sirens, My music had stopped playing. I looked in the mirror and my eyeliner went across my face, I was just lucky that I hadn’t been hurt. And lucky the other driver was safe too, And lucky their baby wasn’t actually on board, A minor concussion, they said. But what had been the cause? I was following the speed limit, I thought I had been following the law, Surely it wasn’t my fault. Right? But the officers told me, I ran a red light, Ran straight into them. They asked me if I had been distracted by anything. And then I realized, Distracted driving isn’t always what you think it is. My wallet paid for my mistakes, Both a fine and insurance, My license was revoked, The front of my car an example sitting in the driveway, Contorted and bent from the impact, Now the neighbors see me leave for work on my bicycle, As I look both ways before completing the crosswalk, Just hoping that none of the drivers around me, Are distracted.