Poetry, Free EPK & More of Janet P. Caldwell
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12th of Never The day my brother died, Oct 12th, 1980. 12th of Never Talk to me of yesterday, of things undone, I still need you. Stay. Please, just the way you were. I remember the departure, that October morning. I always loved the autumn and could scarcely await to go outside. Our skates still here, the key to them lost. I asked you out to breakfast, with Steve you wouldn’t, couldn’t, saying to me that you didn’t feel well. I looked around the room, failing to notice you held your chest in a discolored fist. The doctor had explained the pain away. Possibly pleurisy, prescribed breathing treatments and antibiotics which weren’t kicking in. (not to mention my valiums). With a niggling-naggling I went to breakfast with my latest flirtation. It was a striking day, The 12th of never. I welcomed the oily smells of the greasy spoon, yellow eggs and something to pass for meat. I was lulled by the background chatter of other patrons, whisk scraping bowl, the awful in-between of a knife poised to resize my portion of contentment. Midbite, I sensed that descending Blade, knew exactly where it would sever. I lashed the driver-sheik, had him race that cool roadster XKE, arriving too late. I watched the paramedics try to stun you back. You twisted, jerked like a broken marionette. “Clear!” they shouted again and again, the only spike when they applied the volts. Otherwise, a flat line. You wouldn’t open your baby blues. They carried you on a gurney, covered you with a stiff sheet (I grabbed your exposed toe to pray, “God, please take me instead. He has two sons: a daughter, another on the way.” Inadayinadayinaday), ensconced you in that big white, wheeled cube, screaming cherries on top. The last hasty parade. Once, people used to question the tolling of the bells, ancestors of our modern rubber-necks, the technology changes, sirens now, but still that morbid curiosity. The ambulance left a pitiful wake, flotsam, a handful of inquisitive neighbors, your pregnant wife, the tributary of tears I still leak when the days grow longer every year. I lived on, but nothing mattered. I drank myself insane. Maxed it out, body, mind, waxed it old, made myself weary, died, wanting to join you. A new life stirred, earsplitting to be born. ©Janet Caldwell 2002-2011