Trembling, he sits and waits for the news.
Something terrible happened.
His mother had called him in the middle
Of a chemistry test,
His favorite class.
“Tyler,” she had said
“I need you, come home.”
He had never heard such sorrow
Soaked into her voice
Like water to an overwrought sponge.
It leaked from her,
Dripped from every word
How chilling it was to him to hear those words,
The last words.
He sat there in the ER
Trying not to drown in his confusion
It took so much energy out of him
Yet he sunk further and further
Into the depths of a metaphysical
Creation of Poseidon’s vast oceans.
A drowned man’s dying breath
Couldn’t compare to the pain he felt,
Couldn’t compare to the oxygen he lacked,
The fear that threatened
To pull his heart from his chest.
A force that squeezed so tightly
He desperately looked around
For a single air bubble to breathe in,
A sliver of hope that could save a life.
A lone high-shrilled beep
And it was all over.
White lab coat walking over
The sterility of his hands
Like the bleached bones of Death.
Meaningless words said over and over
To hundreds of thousands daily.
He stared at his own hands
That still twitched with the answers
To his chemistry test.
Hands that had only known a world
Of education now squeezing
Each other tighter and tighter
As if the pain could bring his mother
Back to him.