December 8th, 2005

Little Blue Penguin

Poetry: Wading in

Why is it that when the bad news comes, I don't believe it the first time?

There was a man... he broke in ... he hurt me
How could this be?
You are going to get in so much trouble when the police find out you
made it up
Even when faced with the evidence: cut fan cord for binding your
hands and “evidence” I was sure it was a big mistake

What’s over the bookstore?
Apartments... why?
Well, the building is on fire.
I hung up the phone and drove. I was sure that you had gotten it wrong somehow.
It must be the building next door
Surely she is wrong
I rounded the corner: the front window blew out.
I realized how right she had been

Mom called: You’d better come home now
Racing. Over 100 miles an hour on the Mass Pike. Convinced you were still alive.
Your death – unthinkable.
We’d just talked; you sounded better than you had in weeks
I opened the door and saw Mom’s face: I knew you’d left to be with Jesus

I saw the ambulance. Felt so sorry for whatever member of the maintenance or kitchen staff had been hurt in an accident.
Adam Goren is dead.
Four short words. My classmate’s voice. Unthinkable. Confusion.
Sure she’d gotten the story wrong.
In the chapel: confusion. Dead or still living?
Dead. Your loving vibrant spirit, extinguished.

I used to think my disbelief was optimism.
Or self preservation.
Now, I think I can’t bear the pain. Not right away.
I ease into bad news the same way I ease into the frigid water of a lake in early summer.
Walk in slowly. Get used to the cold. Then walk a bit more.
Knees. Thighs. Groin. Lower belly. Upper belly.
Somewhere in the belly region, take a deep breath.
Dive under that cold cold water.

At some point, it really is easier to dive than to bear the cold.
  • Current Music
    The Eagles ~ Seven Bridges Road