Happy Accidents and The Mysteries of Nine

It would not be fair to say she was accident prone,
but we were never surprised when one happened.
The earliest story I remember was apparently
my fault, something about taking my first steps
while she was separating frozen pork chops
with a steak knife.

It was rarely anything serious, no string of limbs
in a cast, not on a first name basis with anyone
at the emergency room, but there was often
a bruise here or there, most of which she never
remembered the cause, and we always made
fun of her for wearing white at a meal. She was
very good at stain removal.

Her first date with my Father was in September,
they were married nine months later
on the twenty-first of June (6-2-1), and were
together, through all of the accidents, for forty-
five years, three months and six days. She died
on the twenty-seventh of September, in the ninth
year of this century.

Some months before as they were walking
the beach, her favorite pastime, she stopped
and made him promise to scatter her ashes
at that exact location. If you are ever in Hilton Head,
South Carolina, be sure to stop by beach marker
number fifty-four and say hello. She is sure to be there early,
never did miss a sunrise.

You may consider the recurring ‘nine’s’ odd,
a mere coincidence or simple chance. Maybe.
It is something I cannot explain, but I refuse
to believe it is an accident.


Margo Roby asks for a poem centered around ‘accidents’.
The recurrences of ‘nine’ are factual, and not all are referenced.


Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Happy Accidents and The Mysteries of Nine

  1. You had me tear up a bit in the fourth stanza and that’s a feat any writer can be proud of. I love the prose-y style. The speaker makes me feel comfortable as I listen to this very personal rememberance.

    All those nines… weird. I’m going with your theory of too many to be a coincidence.

  2. Gia

    I love this poem, Mark. Beautiful.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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