Magpie Tales – “Oncoming” (Sonnet)

This is a sonnet I revised in connection with the weekly prompt of the “Magpie Tales” blog, hosted by Tess Kincaid.  Tess posted a great photo of a city street, seen both from a car and in a car’s rear view mirror, but I have re-drawn the picture (above) to fit a little closer to my poem.  (Still, not a true fit, sorry!)


There were one, two, three, four, trucks and we’d hit
sparks, some devilish configuration
of torque and stone, radii and slip,
that spit the car from its lane as from
the sea, only to buck and plunge it through
the waves of semis; to the right, the poles
of overpass pulled us to some untrue
North, as if to catch whatever souls
the trucks might miss.  We were on a visit
to a grandmother, but I can’t recall
a later meal or kiss, only that minute
on the road there, the unreeling miss and haul
of grill, glass flashing glass, my father’s swerves–
the way space looks, time feels, when fate uncurls.

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23 Comments on “Magpie Tales – “Oncoming” (Sonnet)”

  1. jinksy Says:

    I enjoyed both your sketch and the graphic words of your sonnet. ♥

  2. Mama Zen Says:

    That last line perfectly captures that awful feeling!

    • manicddaily Says:

      Thanks. I feel like I should work on this, and talk about the relief part–though there wasn’t really much. More a realization that death happens, and thank god, not at that moment.

  3. jenneandrews Says:

    Intense and powerful language in this– a true poem! It sings and swerves and pulls us in with great immediacy: bravissima! xxxj .

    • manicddaily Says:

      Thanks, Jenne. I just tweaked it a bit more since getting your comment. I feel like I should write more of aftermath, but, of course, it’s a sonnet, so I have excuse of 14 lines. K.

  4. Your choice of where to put the line breaks pushes the energy of the poem forward really well.

  5. Berowne Says:

    Excellent reportage of a spectacular accident — well written.

  6. Terrific! I love what you did with the picture and honestly you should apologize for not a true fit. In my opinion it fits beautifully because it lets the reader have the before shot when things are somewhat normal and the excitement is the “Oncoming.” I loved it.

  7. brian miller Says:

    whew i felt its grip unfurl on my back bone…those near misses…and big trucks…had a really close one in WVA once where the road is real narrow…i was sweating…and maybe cursing…

    • manicddaily Says:

      Thanks, Brian. (I think almost everyone had those experiences.) I feel like I should write more about aftermath, but it’s a sonnet!

  8. Tumblewords Says:

    Powerful use of the image – I enjoy your sketches, too!

  9. tess kincaid Says:

    I felt the impact…wow…nice write…I love some “untrue north”…

  10. Wow! This totally takes me back to the summer I was 16 when Sed, Ruthie, Billy and Moi put the car in the ditch. It really appens that fast.

  11. Jo Bryant Says:

    Loved the poem – it felt real – true – great imagery, and I loved what you did with the sketch…

  12. Morning Says:

    facts packed tale sounds more interesting.

    your art sketch is always exciting and impressive.

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