One Isolated Incident

I think this poem dates from the time between my leaving hospital and returning to work. It was written in response to an overly-critical comment a man made to my father about my driving.

Okay! Next time you have something to say
About my driving
Tell it to me!
Just because I came in that gate
A little faster than your sedate
Five miles per hour,
Just because of one isolated incident,
One minute out of a lifetime…
You condemn me
As an unsafe driver.
Let me tell you…
That accident did more for me
Than you—
Or anyone else—
Will ever know.
But what gets me
Is that because I was upset
This morning,
And drove a little faster
Than I normally would have
(And I don't normally drive like that)
You condemn me.
It figures:
You're just another member
Of the Older Generation.
Ready to condemn
The kids
At every opportunity.
Ever-ready to be critical.
Ever-ready to jump to conclusions.
Just because we do something
That’s a little different
From your own conservative
And opinions.
Only time will tell
I suppose.
Only time will tell
Who’s right.

• Written 1971. Copyright © 1999-2010 Alien Son. All rights reserved.

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