Close Calls.....Wrong numbers.

 

Close calls...wrong numbers.-by-MFB III

 

Lately I've been

re-examining my close calls
all the many wrong numbers
where death spent a small fortune
putting the fear of God into me.

 
Each one carries

profound questions
whys that have never

been adequately answered.

 
Not the final why of

a man's life, of course
that "Y" they cut

into the grey flesh
of your upper, and lower

torso during autopsies
but still, bone-chilling,

teeth chattering
mind bending why's

that haunt the soul, like......

 
Why was I spared?

Why me when others fell
never to rise again?
what purpose have

I yet to achieve?
for the list of my

close calls confounds me:


Ricketts as a baby,
Plus a compound compressed,

skull fracture,
chrome bumper induced,

at the tender age of three.

 
A monkey bars tumble at 6,

severe concussion, full recovery.

 
Holes drilled in my skull,

exploratory surgery,

in search of
a brain tumour,
at ten years of age.

 
Baseball bat to

the side of my head
in the projects of "68"

gang related.

 
Assaulted by a Hell's Angel,

resulting in a  badly broken nose
and a bruised ego.

 
Nearly asphyxiated in

the 7th grade by a mistakenly

swallowed jaw breaker
saved by an unknown angel,

with a hard slap on my back
when I was inches from extinction.

 
A fall through the ice,

followed by a frantic,

clawing scramble
from a frigid lake,

to the later warmth
of an angry father's arms.


A slit wrist, from a box-cutter,

a lot of spurting blood
and stitches, and a more

catious approach

to sharp objects.

 
U.S. Marines,

Vietnam Veteran,

Military Police
club riots,

racially motivated,

our task to invade
disperse, and control,

reinstating peace,

dodging broken bottles
fists, and professionally

trained to kill,

drunkards in a rage.

 
A naked, strangle hold applied,

that rendered me unconscious
till the guilty conscious,

of the corporal employing it
made him let me go.

 
Bullets that whistled by me,

playing a tune that was

not yet bugled taps.

 
Out of control in a "69"

Galaxie 500, spinning on ice
into the path of

a Greyhound bus,

the bus drivers face
frozen in terror,

then just as suddenly,

sliding in the

opposite direction
as I took out 2 mailboxes,

and a large chunk

of real estate.

 
Pnuemonia twice,

once so bad in boot camp,

that I amost drowned
in my own fluids,

with boils blistering my throat.

 
The drill instructor

thought I was lollygagging
till he found me actually

gagging in the

wee hours of night .


Another near drowning,

due to hypothermia,

when capsized in the chill
waters of the Conneticut river.

 
Food poisoning twice,

once from Las Vegas,
7 days on an N.G. tube,

after emergency,

exploratory surgery
that led to an avoidance

of free hotdogs ever since.

 
A gas leak in a

marina apartment,

an electrical fire
in my parents home,

and my shirt once

burst into blue flame
chemical fumes combusting

with a Newport.

 
A heart murmur,

a left bundle branch blockage,
and a tiny mitral valve leak,

but my ticker beats on
in spite of cigarettes,

booze,and drugs

I abused in my youth.

 
Lost in a wilderness

twice in extreme weather

conditions once.

 
Failed brakes twice,

coming off of mountains.

 
57 hornet stings across

my abdomen,

non-allergic thankfully.

 
A fully loaded,

logging truck,

slamming into the

left front corner
of a Dodge Caravan

I was a passenger in
bouncing us 150 feet

horizontally, spinning

in slow motion
landing in a mountain

drainage ditch
all of us whiplashed, but alive,

the van totally demolished.

 
Every time I emerged

from each fray with death,
life took on a new personna,

enticing me with its sight,

touch, taste, and smell,

like a wanton virgin bride,
emanating heat,

while whispering only my name .


I re-pursued life with intensity,

seizing each moment
savoring yet uninhaled oxygen,

praising God, and fate
and swearing of stupidity forever.

 
I danced, leaped, and cavorted

with the nows,

which were then granted
until I forgot the proximity,

of what I had almost

been destroyed by .


Life went on, and I

followed it gratefully,

ignoring the ringing
in my ears from each close call,
as well as the 911

buttons still unpushed .


Oh, sure there are other

close calls yet to come,
that's a given, plus many

other wrong numbers.

 
Death is persistent,

a smooth operator
who will connect

with me eventually,

and who will be calling collect
and then i will pay the toll.

 
I'll hear that strange

white noise, and know that I am
at long last experiencing

eternal silence,
forever disconnected

from the lifelines we all share
but for now there is

a song i want to share
a love I want to encourage
a picture still unpainted,

some clay to mold,

some poems to write
and Summers are waiting

to sizzle my sweat,

cooled by those
Jumbo salted margaritas .


There is also precious

six year old, who needs his daddy
and a whole lot of living left to savor.

 
So would you mind

taking the next call, please?
and if it's for me,

tell 'em I'm stepping out
and if it's for you,

hang up, and run like hell.

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~MFB III

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