While taking my morning walk, I saw probably a dozen or more cars. I could plainly see two of the drivers—teenagers—texting, and at least six of the other drivers were talking on their cell phones. This need to be constantly in a conversation amazes me, and when I read this in an article: Researchers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park estimate more than 3,000 annual teen deaths nationwide from texting and 300,000 injuries, in Long Island Newsday, I could only shake my head and say:

I Don’t Get It


She was barely seventeen

The speed limit was seventy

She was only doing fifty

And in the slow lane

Laughing as she read

The text from her best friend

In her peripheral vision

She saw the truck pass her


She was only twenty-seven

Her son would be two in a month

Her daughter had just turned four

She was going eighty, or more

Screaming into the phone at her husband

As she swerved around the semi

And into the right lane

The slow one, remember


He was twenty-nine and unemployed

Lost his job a week ago

He’d just ordered another beer

From the super fine waitress

When his wife called

Screaming at him because he forgot

To pick up the kids from daycare… again


The man’s wife died instantly

Please... think about it

Please… think about it

Winding up in the back seat

Of the teenager’s car

The teenager had multiple lacerations

And almost as many broken bones

Car seats couldn’t save the little ones

The mini-van rolled seven times


The young father arrived home

Slightly drunk… about an hour later

Mad as hell because she wasn’t there

He’d turned his phone off at the bar

The only way to stop her screaming

Or so he thought


He turned it on and dialed her number

A man answered on the third ring

Who the hell is this?

There was no immediate response

Then the man on his wife’s phone said

This is the Police department, sir

Are you Mr. ………….


Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn


I took a break from packing and wrote the above poem to share with the good folks over at dVerse Poets Pub, on their Open Link Night #107. I don’t usually write about these types of things, but it was on my mind, so there it is.

If you text or talk on your phone while your driving, I only have one question for you: Why?


  1. zongrik said

    doesn’t this make you MADD

    Fancy HOV Ridin’

  2. damn man…i saw it coming..and it was kiling me to watch…esp having worked a few of those wrecks in my day…and that was before cell phones and distracted driving that comes with it…seriously there are things that can wait…what a society we have become that we have to have it now…and then pay the price…

    • Really no subtle way to write about this topic. I truly just don’t get it. We live in a world gone stark raving mad!

  3. Sherry Mashburn said

    Wow! So powerful!

  4. Talicha J. said

    So tragic and sad. Split second actions have lifelong repercussions.

  5. Oloriel said

    Sad and heartbraking. I can;t stand people who text and drive, their carelesness could not only cost them their own life,but lives of other people as well.

  6. shanyns said

    This read like the tweets of a news service about an accident. Have been on the responder end and almost clipped by those to busy to pay attention. I was riveted to your words. Great GREAT ending.

  7. Words can kill!

  8. Truedessa said

    I don’t understand either why things like this have to happen..I could see where this was going with each word the journey became more painful. We often hear about these tragic endings. I am glad you tackled such an intense topic with care.

    • You give me too much credit; I just wrote what came out, without much thought to care.
      Thank you!

  9. Myrna said

    First time I see this addressed in a poem. It’s so sad but I’m glad you wrote what’s on your mind. Hope we all listen to your poetic warning.

    • Some will listen, some won’t. When I was a young man, I didn’t listen to anybody, so I understand. It’s hard and sad to watch people make mistakes, and/or use bad judgement but, unfortunately, that’s how many of us have to learn things–the hard way.

  10. On our destinies are connected intertwined for tragedy and pleasure…Sadness when moments are not cherished.

    • True. The older I get, the more I realize how valuable time is. I’ve got no time to waste on being sad or unhappy.

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