Black Ice

And in a moment it goes from
cruising along;
living – – – to

\\s p i n n i n g//
turning and twisting


!!Violence!! oh! the Violence!!

::is anybody there?::

l o s s -of- c o n t r o l


Hands shaking. I breathe.
I breathe.
It lasted an eternity.
It took mere seconds.

I survive.
I become…. more.

tara caribou | ©2021

Dedicated to hitting black ice yesterday on the highway, losing control, spinning 720 across into oncoming traffic before going off into the ditch. Did I mention it was 10*F outside and I had to wait two hours before getting pulled out? Terrifying and helpless… that’s the words of the day.

All of us in the car are fine. No injuries. It could have been way, way worse. I am ever grateful.

46 Comments on “Black Ice

    • Yes, I can totally understand that. I was about forty miles from home, still hadn’t even made it to my destination… after getting out of the ditch, limping into town the rest of the way, going to a place to have them check my rims, etc, did what I came to do… I was driving so slow, I’m talking 40mph on 55 roads. I. Just. Couldn’t. Normally I do break checks here and there in winter to check road conditions and I couldn’t make myself even once… ugh. I told my mom (one of the people in the vehicle with me), “I know I can’t let this take control of my mind” (knowing how OCD I am…) “but I just can’t today.” I am hoping I don’t have drive again for another couple weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s amazing how aware you become of everything when this happens, and how lucky you feel when it finally stops after those eternal three seconds! Fortune smiled on you and gave you a lesson instead of punishment.
    I was in the seat next to you as I read!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. not many things worse than loss of control – that unplanned transition from driver/rider to passenger … i can’t imagine what driving on black ice is like, it never gets that cold here …
    home in one piece is all that matters – hunks of metal can be replaced … glad you are all safe …

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly it! That’s what was so terrifying, the absolute loss of all control. A million things ran through my mind.

      Black ice is very very normal here. I *know* you can lose control on it for absolutely no reason at all and I think the lion’s share of off-road accidents happen because of it. I have just never experienced that loss of control on it before. I’m am filled with gratefulness. It was the…. softest accident one could probably ever have, snow and ice exploding over the bumper and windows as I went sideways into to the ditch. Honestly, without all that snow there, I probably would have rolled. So, yes, so very thankful.


      • as another responder mentioned, a great metaphor, but to me a somewhat chilling metaphor for how quickly the things we hold true and dear can be stripped away.

        recovery is an interesting thing – done such-and-such so many times, whatever it is, and everything was under control, then ‘suddenly’ something happens and we realise that it could have happened so long ago. have we been lucky all this time, were we just unlucky this time? what is the normal? all of a sudden something we have done so many times nearly took us out – did it? didn’t it? does it matter? suddenly we were not in control of our lives, we were that passenger completely at the mercy of … what? in this case, the ice? physics? god (whatever that is to the reader), random chance? fate? …

        there have been a few ‘situations’ in my experience where recovery is tenuous at best, enlightening for sure, and reassuring not. something we thought was solid, foundational, grounding, turns out to be flimsy and unreliable. like black ice. i don’t know how one gets confidence back and begins to trust again – the uncertainty of it all is a little displacing.

        i don’t mean that all to sound depressing – the situation you experienced was utterly terrible but you walked away ok which is really good. the way you wrote it though, was an amazing parallel for so many things in life, it wasn’t until the end i deduced it was a literal experience – it fit so well as a metaphor for so many things – it was both. im sure you were thinking that.

        you’ll recover – we are all way stronger than we know.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I fully meant it as a metaphor, so, as per usual, you understood my meaning perfectly. I had another incident (or two) in mind, completely un-driving or ice-related… so, it helped to release some emotions but also, dig a little deeper…

          Thank you so much reading and your discussion.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I was right there with you, the emotions and fear coming fast. I’ve been in a few accidents and it seems like slow motion when you’re in it. Glad this one turned out ok.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Im happy to hear you’re all okay. The way you captured the anxiety, fear and uncertainty in that moment was palpable.

    From the almost routine first verse being abruptly cut – to the varied use of caps,l and all manner of symbols.

    I hadn’t read the snippet at the bottom of your poem and yet you took that moment and delivered it through words; by extension making me experience it as well.

    I have been in two accidents in my life, thankfully noone got hurt. And you caught that feeling so well. It feels like the shortest and longest moment of your life when its happening.

    Liked by 2 people

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