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“Watch Your Step”

In less time than it takes to say it, my husband gets up
from his place beside me on the couch, then trips
on the arch of his footstool, lurches forward just past
the green armchair occupied by the cat, lands on his bad
left foot then careens to the right, stumbling toward
the nearest edge of a high table on which are displayed
our photos of weddings, babies, hiking vacations,
finds at the last possible moment before one eye hits the corner
some wall space on which to brace his hands, forcing
his body to come to a halt just as my thoughts begin
sliding on the debris which remains of this evening’s
once solid assumption : we shall watch our show together
as we always have. We can almost predict the ending.
by Therese L. Broderick
(A writer’s statement appears as the first comment.)

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

One response »

  1. poetryaboutart

    ARTIST’S STATEMENT about this poem
    Fact & Fiction –
    The poem describes an accident which occurred very quickly. I saw it happen, and reproduce it in this poem with as much detail as I remember, and with my husband’s input. Sometimes the cat sits on the green chair, but he was not there that particular evening. I added him to this poem partly because a sleeping cat is an image of the domestic safety and comfort which is threatened in this scene. Although we have done some mild hiking on various vacations, no hiking photos are on the table. I added that detail to put some irony into the poem. My husband has seen this poem. He suggested some changes to the text, and I adopted some of them.
    Sound & Sense –
    Because the poem is about a tripping accident, I work to get the rhythm to sound rushed and headlong. The poem is written in one sentence. I deliberately work to link the last words of nearby lines through similar sounds : the “p” in up and trip, the “or” in forcing and corner, the “ing” in evening and ending, etc. I do so partly for its effect of landing the ear on various sounds, different spots, throughout the entire fall of the poem.


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