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Saturday, February 07, 2015


by Catherine Wald

Image source: NY Daily News

So many are the barriers we cross –
mountains, rivers, doorways in
and doorways out – we can’t
pause at every junction
to ponder the alternatives,
consider every sharp stake
we might be impaled on; every
body of water eager to swallow
us up; every potential mechanical
malfunction in a world dominated
by machines.

What would life be like if,
every time you drove across a
train track, you had to wonder
what your kids would do without
you, how your gas tank might im-
plode on impact, who you are likely
to kill without meaning any harm?

What we presumed:  SUVs
are invulnerable, trains
are stoppable, each of us
has the right to traverse
any obstacle that blocks
our path.

Were we wrong?

Catherine Wald has frequently taken the Metro North train from New York City to Valhalla. Her books include poetry (Distant, burned-out stars, Finishing Line Press, 2011), nonfiction (The Resilient Writer: Stories of Rejection and Triumph From 23 Top Authors, Persea Books, 2005) and a translation from French of Valery Larbaud’s Childish Things (Sun & Moon Press). Her poems have been published in American Journal of Nursing, Buddhist Poetry Review, Chronogram, Exit 13, Friends Journal, Jewish Literary Journal, The New Poet, Society of Classical Poets, The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly andWestchester Review.