Terrible Things

Saturday, September 17, 2022

I never knew you before the coma,

Before bacteria seeded your brain.

I saw your pupils daily,

Shined light through the window to your soul

And saw movement each time

But nothing quite like a smile or cry.


Wrong bug, wrong drug, poor source control –

A reason is neither excuse nor consolation.

In medicine, we push the needle

Against the grain of what we cannot change.

You sharpened the line for me,

Pried my fingers from the reigns,

For the wild beast of control will not be tamed.  


His body is tired – the decision made.

Yes, the boy you knew is not returning.

Quiet fills the room,

A moment for digesting the truth.

I wish we had better news.

I wish we had more tools to use.

I wish, I wish with all my heart

For him to fly with dragons in a land apart.


Sometimes terrible things take good people

And bright souls of great potential

From this world. I heard

You hoped to be a zookeeper.

A stuffed puppy sat at your side since you arrived;

Dogs or cats? I wanted to ask.

If only you were still here to answer.