Chana Bloch

Happy Families Are All Alike

Flash of truck, blaze of 
steel bearing down 
burn of rubber on asphalt two tons
thundering to a stop. I can smell it,
can see that trucker
stunned, head down in his hands,				 
St. Christopher swinging in the window
and across the street on Colusa
in front of the school door,
hands face skinny knees, every part of him 
sharply visible, outlined
in yellow light—  					       

my son. His high voice
more plaintive than blaming: 
You told me to run.

Who told him to run? My fault
forever. A family of before 
and after. Why did you why 
did I tell him? But look,  

he's going into the classroom. 
He's eating the soggy triangles              	 
of his tuna sandwich. Nothing's  
happened to us! Nothing  

yet. Once upon a time, we'll say
at the family campfire,
we came that close.