General Poetry posted July 4, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Second in series on my TBI, directly addresses accident

After the TBI, Part II

by Theodore McDowell

I felt the mojo.
Forty-six years old, swimming
against the current of my child abuse.
Attorney, father, husband, son,
friend, follower of Jesus Christ,
grounded pillars made of steel,
indestructible enchantment,
humble magnetism.
Blindsided by a deep intractable
vulnerability built into my DNA,
fragile as the breath of life.
Wasn’t I created from dust and dirt?
My Camry slowed, rolled
to a stop on a highway off-ramp.
Stolen SUV barreled
into the back of my car--
searing pain, whiplash,
sheer stress on the body.
Soul hovered in limbo.
I re-emerged into consciousness
trapped in twisted metal.
Jagged cracks in the windshield,
backroads on a roadmap
winding through nowhere.
Pre-verbal terror
shook my core, writhed
into surreal images:
slanting rain speared the roof,
melting faces peered
through the window,
headlights glowed, eerie haloes
of fallen angels,
Van Morrison still played
on the radio, singing shadows
shaped like my soul.
Firefighters pried open the door.
I stumbled out of the tomb onto asphalt,
reborn a shattered man
in a world of trauma. Tectonic shifts
carved deep boundary faults
and moved continents within my identity.



This is the second poem in a series on life after my Traumatic Brain Injury. This poem deals directly with the accident itself as the primary trauma. For a longer additional poem addressing the accident directly, see in my portfolio "Back in my Father's Shadow Again." The next two poems will deal with two additional surreal shattering events that occurred after the accident--the delivery of the TBI diagnosis by my neuropsychiatrist and my law firm's actions related to my permanent disability.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at

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