Near Miss

By Bill Hollands

Featured Art: Mall Series (2) by Doug MacDowell

Live long enough and you’ll have a few
if you’re lucky. Take me, for instance—
when my son crossed the street
and the car’s tires screamed and his body
arced into a C. Or once in the doctor’s
cold office when the air froze into a word.

Or maybe it’s a choice—your choice,
the other person’s, doesn’t matter. You sit
on the edge of the bed in the hotel room,
run your hand over the quilted bedspread
and wait for the answer. It’s not much really,
not much that determines a life.


Bill Hollands’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Boulevard, Rattle, and DIAGRAM. He was recently a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize, Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize in Poetry, and Smartish Pace’s Erskine J. Poetry Prize. He lives in Seattle with his husband and their son.

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