Driving home on the highway from Providence tonight, after spending the day with three very cool, very funny women. I was smiling, remembering our laughter-laced conversation over dinner when I saw, on the crest of the hill, a police car, lights flashing. Great, I thought, he's got someone pulled over.
Then I realized the police car was in the median. And traffic was slowing down. Way down.
Last night I was out driving
Coming home at the end of the working day
I was riding alone through the drizzling rain
On a deserted stretch of a county two-lane
When I came upon a wreck on the highway
I saw snow on the highway, like it had been tossed there by kids having a snowball fight. A crumpled guardrail. An ambulance, lights whirling red-white, red-white.
A small red car, crumpled. A slightly larger blue car, in the median. Sideways. More police cars.
There was blood and glass all over
And there was nobody there but me
As the rain tumbled down hard and cold
I seen a young man lying by the side of the road
He cried Mister, won't you help me please
People and cars, huddled together, against the guardrail. A paramedic, hunched over the passenger side of the blue car.
A gurney. In the road. On it, a white sheet, covering a body.
In an instant, someone was gone.
An ambulance finally came and took him to Riverside
I watched as they drove him away
And I thought of a girlfriend or a young wife
And a state trooper knocking in the middle of the night
To say your baby died in a wreck on the highway
Maybe someone's wife or mother.
Maybe someone's father or husband.
A brother, a sister, a cousin. A friend.
Sometimes I sit up in the darkness
And I watch my baby as she sleeps
Then I climb in bed and I hold her tight
I just lay there awake in the middle of the night
Thinking 'bout the wreck on the highway