The Nearly Times

Once, when a group of horses bolted
and reared, eyes white, legs flailing,
trampling whatever was under their hooves.

Once, wheeling too fast on a bike
down Richmond Hill, tumbling off. Stilled
on the tarmac, a human speed bump.

Once, when a guy drove us into a lamp-post.
Chin gashed, hand crushed, broken wrist.
Soon healed, though I still have the scars.

Mostly I’ve been careful, or lucky, or both,
but once I pulled out in the path of another car
and once clipped the side of a thundering truck.

I bless Sheldon Kaplan, who invented the epipen.
Once I passed out at a party and wasn’t drunk.
It went dark. I was blind till I puked.

How many lives is that? How many chances,
how many years was I handed to learn
how to live every day, how to give thanks?



Chrissy Banks lives and writes in Exeter. Her latest collection, The Uninvited, came out in 2019 from Indigo Dreams. A pamphlet, Frank, is forthcoming from The Poetry Business in May 2020.