When Death Stopped By At My House, Some Afterwords, And A Warning God Laid At The End Of My Drive.
When death stopped by at my house.©-MFB III
"When quiet shatters...its pieces can scar you forever."
"Somebody help me.....please call 911!!" a lady cried
banging on my screened entrance in a staccato of fear
yanked brusquely from the normalcy of an ordinary day
I rushed to the front door, to view my whole world awry
for just beyond her panicked eyes, pleading for a solution
I saw a man face down, his whole life at its near finish
upon the end of my driveway.
In an adrenaline rush
like a weak blood vessel I burst, in a flash of flesh and fear
in stockinged feet, and shoeless, I dashed to his side
and then gasped not only from my haste, but also grasping
at once the horrible position fate had brought upon me
with no time for indecision, though even heroes are reluctant
hey...I was just a guy who lived behind the place
where he had fallen, but I knelt to save him
His face was crushed against the asphalt, wrenched to the side
upon its impact, in puddles of his blood and gore
purple and blue...his glasses shattered..he'd hit
with no hands out to stop him, I knew I had to turn him over
but he was stiff, and icy cold, muscles all straining
still I went on, and when I had him on his back
I saw that he was my nice neighbor, a man who always
had a smile...except for now...instinct immediately took over
unwilling....still I had to do, all that I could to bring him back
His lips and nose awash in blood, across his whole face
it was plastered, his mouth was full too, where I'd soon
share my life's breath to fill his lungs
I screamed, "Someone get me a towel,
a wet rag..just give me a shirt."
Judy ran to get several dialing a cellphone as she went
a shirt was tossed to me....... a young man
offered his aid from afar, among bystanders standing by me
looking down on this task distasteful,
I wiped his face inadequately
and bent to wrench him from death's grip,
pinching his nose
my lips enclosed him,
a sickly, sticky sense ensued
I blew a long blast deep inside him,
and watched his abdomen arise
on Saturday just before Easter,
with resurrection not yet here~
his answer was a bloody gurgle,
which he'd repeat so many times
I turned my face and spit it out,
then onto his chest I dashed for 5 compressions
while yelling at him to hang on, "Don't die on me...John,.....
just keep fighting." back to that bloody hole demanding
more air to fill his starving lungs.
5 thumps, two breaths, 5 more... then one breath, a rhythmic
pummeling of death, the world enveloped me in slow-mo
a whole eternity dragged passed me, about 8 long minutes ago
one neighbor took my job compressing, upon John's chest
leaving me free to, concentrate on the copper smelling
gory red exhales that I blew........................
Far in the distance I heard sirens, quite faint above
John's wife's sad cries... she kept on begging us to help him
but I could not look in her eyes, while John....
gave only gurgling sighs..............................
soon expert hands bid me give passage,
I raised my mottled face and moved,
just a few feet away, and squatted
I focused on their hurried efforts,
to stop death as it excised John,
not one dared put his mouth on John's face,
they looked at me like I was crazy,
but they'd come from another place
He'd been out jogging and death chased him down,
it was a pace he couldn't run,
they loaded him onto a stretcher
still working on him, rubber gloved....but then the ambulance
stood silent...they put him in...and closed the doors
I wiped my mouth and tasted sorrow,
more failure then ever before
later they left us there all standing, in huddled groups
upon my drive....they took John, but...he'd left already
upon a far more distant ride.
I filled some buckets with hot water, an hour later
and then washed...the puddle of John's life congealing,
away from where it had been squashed.
They said his heart attack was massive,
that even under doctor's expert care
he would have perished in an instant,
but it brought me so little comfort,
and painted life much more unfair
the end result betrayed all hope,
and I still see him lying there
four days past when he took his leave.
I made a small cross and erected it,
quite close to the spot he fell
to let my neighbors know his passing,
meant something more then tears and grief,
we'd lost one of our own too early
he'd left us all beyond belief,
yet still this simple faith filled marker
serves to remind...and bring relief.
"When the quiet shatters, it's pieces can scar you forever."
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1947 to 2002
" Jog on through to heavens glory, rest forever in it's shade."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ When death stopped by ....some afterthoughts...
*This is part two of the work: When death stopped by at my house.
dealing with my vain attempts to save a man who fell and died at the end of my drive, my neighbor John....gone two years now....MFB III
It's quiet here now
all that was untidy is
boxed up, and buried
soon poppies will bloom
where his blood washed
into my soil, and grass
they come up every year
with bright red heads
near where John's fell
I shake my own head
at this symbolism
but life creeps onward
I can spring back on Sunday
kind words were rendered
tears shed, hugs squeezed
a funeral without the fun-
that graces it's first 3 letters
I can taste things again
without a cooper taint
or a smell of mortality
the street is back
to its normal flow
cars slow a bit at the cross
that marks the passing
of one man that will
not pass by anymore
one less smile as I
grab the morning paper
a Mister Rogers neighborhood
transformed in an instant
to a scenario of death
excuse me while I
don a sweater
the chill still lingers
the daffodils have opened
their sleepy heads
their trumpets blow taps
I am numb
are not vacant
this too will pass
life restores the rips
that tear the fabric
of our souls
it knits them quickly
in bright colors
to distract us
I like the quiet here
my dog snores
and birds chirp
and I will not think anymore
of the silent flesh
pressed in satin
in a place with no sound
when the quiet shatters
its pieces can scar you forever.
when the quiet resumes
the scars attempt a fade
into the hazy past. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
A Warning God Laid At The End Of My Drive.
the phone jangles
jerking me up from a piece
of clay I was
attempting to adapt
from just mud into pure art
breathing life into
a useless lump of Terra fir-ma
I reached over to
grab the creative
and said, "Hello?"
it was my Doctor's office
"We have the results
of your blood work
your stress tests
and the doctor would
like to see you
could you come in at 3:15 today??"
"ah...sure." I stammered
and hung up with a faint goodbye
not the phone this time
but alarms going off
in my head
my heart pounding
louder then that day
my screen door was hammered
by a lady announcing
a dying man's needs
at the end of my drive
in a stupor
I cancelled a studio session
and paced the kitchen
turning the linoleum
"My, God...what's the urgency??
I thought as the hands
on the clock
spun in a slow dance
to a song best forgotten.
after thinking of all the
worst possible scenarios
Aids, hepatitis, cancer..
I had smoked many years of
various weeds and herbs
till I quit and hey they
took a chest x-ray
or could it be some
flesh eating bacteria
some new terrorist poison
all because I gave CPR
to a dead man
thinking it would help
could that mark me as the next
house call for the reaper
then suddenly the clock was whipping around
like a rabid dog
chasing his well chewed tail
in mad circles
and it was 2:30
I grabbed my keys and
walked slowly to the car
thinking maybe this sunny day
would be the last
I would have chosen
to remain innocent
of the facts of
my own mortality
I didn't want to know
if it was anything bad
but my options were thin
I had to go in
not knowing would be as worse
and might hurt other people
if I was now sick.
They took me right in
and put me in exam room eight
my doctor who slightly
resembles Ichabod Crane
strode in like the
was hot on his tail
but then he just said
"It was a busy day."
he opened my charts
there were notes in
there that looked like
and my heart did a
small back flip
a point ten on the
but then this tall
wise man, said...
"Your aids test is negative."
as well as your hepatitis test
in any of it's forms
as well as any chance of
infections or contagions".....
Phh Eeeewwww....my inner
.......But!!" he said,
I saw the flash back of John's
purple and blue face
superimposed onto mine
for a split second
then he continued....
"Your cholesterol level is a whopping
263...with LDL which is the good cholesterol
at 33...as well as your bottom number
which is too high it's at 216."
your blood pressure during
the stress tests was abnormal
for a man your age
when you were at the
hardest part of the test
the ultrasound of your heart
shows a weakening as well
at this point
therefore I think we should
start you on Lipitor
to correct your cholesterol levels
do some Dye testing on
your heart artery's
if after a month on meds
you still have a high level
there may be arterial blockage
and if that shows up as a problems
we'll run a heart cath
to find out where
the trouble lies
by the way your X-rays were normal."
not impending death???
obviously my high cholesterol
was conspiring behind my
back to shorten my vacation plans
one of these years
not too far off
and then I began to understand
why I was given the shot
at saving John
even though I lost him
from a massive heart attack
just Humanity compounded
Did God lay a warning
at the end of my driveway????
was John's life meant to end
and in the process
expire in my presence
so that I would
ultimately see my own doctor?
and avoid the same fate???
or was it all just
the doctor made me a few appointments
patted me on the back
handed me some lipitor for 30 days
and went off to see the next worry wart
I felt one small tear of gratitude
slide down the healthy flesh
of my cheek
for God...for John
a nice guy who even in death
unbeknownst to him
helped another person out
I have an obligation
either way to take up
the task of being nicer
now that the world has
one less nice person in it
and to take care of myself
to avoid winding up
on the end of my driveway
on a trip to get the mail
where I finish up becoming
just another message
to some poor soul
who is on the borderline
of a major health dilemma.
I drove home
with the windows down
and a whimsical grin on my face
today was going to be
a spectacular day
I wish you could have been here
to see it.
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