down a busy road
I saw the Cal-Trans signs
didn’t read them
I never do
they annoy me
30 guys standing around
with maybe 2 of them working…

we were in the fast lane
on a four lane road
I saw him
but didn’t believe him
he was cartwheeling
through the air
towards us
I slammed on the brakes
and he landed on our hood
then rolled off

the screeching of brakes
from multiple cars
filled the air
when everyone was stopped
we got out, ran to the front of the car
looked down on the asphalt
he was there
eyes opened wide
laying on his back
body convulsing in strange ways
the look on his face told me
that he couldn’t believe what had happened
he still had on his hi-vis vest
even his hardhat
he coughed a couple times
each time blood shot out
then landed on his face
the blood seemed to glow

a hysterical girl
maybe 16 or 17
got out of the car in the next lane
she was screaming loudly
even though her hands were over her mouth
she was the one who hit him
when he ran across the road

I was frozen
my wife knelt down
held the dying man’s hand
she spoke softly to him
I think it helped
but had no real way of knowing

those 11 minutes went by
so slowly
it was as if years were inching by

the sirens seemed to be underwater
very far off
I felt like I aged ten years
by the time the medics took over

I don’t think I moved the entire time…

where the fuck were we going?
we were going to Popeye’s
for chicken and coleslaw

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