Ambulance

There were no visible signs
of carnage, no police cars or
fire trucks, but the ambulance
in the street with lights
flashing and the neighbors
milling around offering hugs
and leaning shoulders gave
me to understand that lives
were being profoundly altered,
unfamiliar people behaving
familiarly, the human family,

I slowed down respectfully
and curiously no doubt
turned the music down
said a short prayer for mercy
and a short prayer of thanks
that it wasn’t me or those
I love this time reminded
that everyone has a time
which may come at any time
so take no time for granted

and I drove on thankful
for a humdrum destination
and a humdrum day
determined to smile more
and hug more and take
no one for granted

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