Hit play below to hear Johnna St Cyr read her poem “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)” and scroll down for the full text. “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)” is featured in MQR’s Spring 2021 issue.
My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)
On the way to the doctor a rock, gravel on the highway, some truck kicked up and chipped my windshield. Years go by and nothing grows, nothing shatters. And suddenly someone tells me I have to fix it. It’s dangerous. This tiny chip, a pinky finger tip at the very bottom of the very center of my windshield might suddenly render me blind and I might crash into the guard rail, hit a family of nuns or a basketball team. It’s not safe. So I get the chip filled but that— the fixing—causes it to break more and it grows, spreads like a spider web, like a canyon you could fall into. That can happen they say, it is what it is, and I need a replacement. It’s free! And I’ve got a shiny new windshield. Everything is clear, crisp, the leaves on the trees! I’m telling everyone. Life is good until it’s not. And there I am, weeks later, on the side of the road. It didn’t take. The windshield wasn’t sealed. All that rain, and snow and slush leaked inside where no one could see, rotted out the inside like an oak tree. Totaled. It’s like that in his head he says. It didn’t grow for years and then all at once— All loss brings me back to the first. I want this to be something about grief. I want to say it happens like that, something small you carry for years that cracks open. But the parts aren’t clicking sealing in right—you don’t ever even try to fix the chip you just twist, lean at the waist over the wheel and learn to see around it.
You can purchase MQR‘s Spring 2021 issue here.