And when you reach ten, start counting again...

A car accident will make you think.

The boom-crash-churn.

You'll be standing off to the side of the highway & suddenly counting fingers & toes.

One. & Two. & Three. & this one off to market. & this one is deciding to stay home.

"You alright?" the officer asks. You bite your bottom lip & you nod your head & you ache to tell him a story. But he aint your librarian, just a man in blue waiting to clear your wreck off the road so that he can go on home to a girl in a princess dress whose words are crystals to him and "Daddy" is a sacred name.

"I'm sorry," you say again, this time to a young man with a grin that has probably captivated some girl since their high school prom. Since the very day he slipped a corsage on her bony wrist.

"Eh, take it back," he laughs. "It's not your fault."

& so you stand, shifting from foot to foot to foot, aching to tell him a story. To tell him that you've never taken a "sorry" back. That you've always believed in sprinkling the grounds with "sorries," like rose petals, after damage has been done.   

That's the know-how of a Good Girl. & you don't know or know how it gets done any other way.

& so you go back to counting...

Four. & Five. & Six.

As they hook your pretty little car to chains & pullies and haul, haul, haul. & you think the ground is sacred. That your standing: sacred. That your whole: sacred. That you're all just fine: sacred.

& Seven. & Eight.

& your seeing--just now-- what car accidents do. After the boom. the crash. the churn.

How they make you want to clutch. & mend. & walk away better with grace in your arms.  & call people. & burrow your body into unexplored parts of the library with books of French & German surrounding you. How they make you want to learn all the ways there are to tell someone you love them so that you never run out. So that you never run out.

& Nine.

& the man in blue strolls back again & he asks if you need anything else. & you want to say sidewalk chalk. & tea. & arms that take you without explanation.

& a life that lives itself out like a love letter. with imagery that drapes you. & adoration that takes you in by the elbow. & not an agenda in sight. No, no, all the Musts & the Shoulds & the Coulds went down with a ship they said was unsinkable one hundred years ago or so. That all you really need is grace. & a hug.

grace & a hug will fix you just fine.

grace & a hug & you'll be brand new.

& you'll reach Ten & start counting again.