Dear Angel

by Karen Wood

Dear Angel,

I thought about you yesterday evening, out of the not-so clear blue of glass shattering all around me on my kitchen floor. I knew what was happening when the margarita glass started its descent but there was little I could do to stop it. So I just stood there in bare feet and bare legs watching the explosion and subsequent shattering. Shards and large chunks skittered across the tile — under sink, stove, refrigerator, even out onto the carpet.

As usual I’d been careless. I’d put the glass where it could get knocked off, where it likely would get knocked off. But thoughts of possible harm came too late. For the glass. Hindsight doesn’t exactly mend things, now, does it?

The sound startled me. Which I know is irrational … unreasonable. But it did. I knew it was coming. I expected it. I saw the actions that would, logically cause the noise, but when it happened I jerked back. And a sound came from me as well. A sharp intake of breath. I think I may have cursed as well, but I can’t be sure. Any actual words are now lost along with the glass.

Deep down I knew I shouldn’t do it. I knew I shouldn’t kneel to pick up the pieces, but I did anyway. Thinking there was no way it could have spread to where I stood. Thinking there would be no way for me to be hurt as long as I could see the pieces in front of me. Thinking I was in control. As usual.

I carefully picked up as much as I could, almost anticipating the burning sting of my skin slicing. Thinking, knowing I’m not the most careful/graceful person in the world. Realizing that there was little way I could pick up all of the pieces without damaging my hands, my fingers, my palms in some way or another.

But somehow I came away unscathed. Uncut. Undamaged.

I tied as much as I could up in a plastic grocery sack. Twisting and turning and tying the ends to secure the pieces. Surprisingly mindful of the future. Of having to eventually throw out the remnants. And I didn’t stop until there were at least four bags surrounding the glass. Burying the sharp edges deep.

It was only when I stood that I saw the damage. Tiny trickles of blood trailing down my legs. Small shards of glass sticking to my shins and knees … apparently too small for me to initially see when I knelt to clean up the mess that had been made. Clear glass will do that on white tile, I suppose.

I was surprised when I saw what had been left. Blood on the floor. On me.

I had felt no pain.

But now it came in waves.

Love sometimes still,



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