The blood was minimal, only just a foot or two to the windshield,
and I am sure splinters of bark were spread
no more than ten feet in any direction.
Perhaps shards of glass were sent out even farther,
shrapnel twenty, thirty feet through the air.
They say nothing travels faster than bad news;
well, nothing travels as far, either,
and so this range is always increasing.
Dinner table chatter, “did you hear?”s,
letters sent out to relatives, friends.
And everywhere I walk I bring it with me
carrying pieces of the wreckage
tucked away in the folds of my clothing
and in between the pages of this book.

But back at the center,
something that had yet to move at all:
a small bouquet of flowers
stapled to that still standing, shattered tree.
It was several years before one night’s wind
gently let it, browned, withered, and shriveled, to the ground.