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“Twenty-Four Seven”

In any weather, day or night
…….24 / 7 / 365
deer appear along the parkways.
…….the Thruway Authority
Today a light rain can’t keep
……in order to reduce
two fawns and their parents
……the number of deaths
behind the trees. They graze
…….keeps near the on-ramps
heads down, no crazed stares
…….four telephones
to catch my headlights.
So common a sight, and yet
…….easy to see
I take this long route instead of
…….on the Tappan Zee Bridge
 the Tappan Zee,
…….because, on balance,
its balance too alert to
……..Life is Worth Living
passing chance: signs reminding
…….call 1-800-273-TALK
that any driver among us
…….again, 1-800-273-TALK
might suddenly flee his car,
…….someone on the line reasons
lunge to the rail,  leap…
…….don’t  do it, don’t jump.
by Therese L. Broderick
Writer’s Statement — This poem was written in response to prompt #95 on ReadWritePoem: mash up two or more written pieces. The poem below mashes up two sources: a rough draft poem I wrote for a ReadWritePoem mini-challenge, and facts about the New York State Thruway (facts from the Thruway website, which is fair use according to copyright guidelines). My rough draft relates a car trip I took recently on the Thruway, regretting that I had not taken the parallel parkway. In this poem, I combine my real Thruway trip with previous parkway trips I have taken.

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

11 responses »

  1. This is a very clever use of the mashed poem exercise.I dont quite understand why the Tappan Zee bridge is dangerous.Is it a famous suicide spot?Why would the driver
    startle flee or then jump?Is this poem to highlight the lunacy of the warning signs?


  2. This was clever. Especially at the end.


  3. Hi Therese,

    Clever that you have combined the deer’s ability to cause death on the highway with the warnings to drivers not to commit suicide. We just had two teenage girls who died jumping off a bridge.


  4. What a smart and well thought out idea…good job!


  5. Hi Therese,

    I like your lines about the deer all by themselves, the sense of fragile wilderness (and maybe a soul metaphor in the deer) on the fringes of roads (the car a linear and insular metaphor for life). Adding the suicide advisory I think successfully ratchets up the tension in the final poem, as now there is a sense of urgency, of blind impulse. Where is one leaping to? What is one leaping from? Also, there is a subtle suggestion that signs (and phone lines) are only minimally useful because people, like deer, are working at some primal, illiterate level when they take their most decisive acts.

    The mood and style are quite different–but your poem reminds me a little of this James Wright poem:


  6. ohhhh… what a surprisingly wondrous mashing of driving and life force poetry… love it!


  7. having seen enough drivers behaving with all the forethought of a skittish deer, I applaud your poem’s restraint
    (wonder, do deer, like horses, enjoy mash?)


  8. I really like the thinking behind the construction of this poetry mesh. Well done. I hope the phones save lives although they are not likely to help the deer. Caution and moderation would go a long way or perhaps a fence.


  9. Clever. The move from deer to human is unexpected and creates a fine mashup.


  10. I am awed by the way you did it..



  11. nice mashup…the deer always have the rite away up here in the mountains


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