[lit-ideas] Casualties

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas " <Lit-Ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 14:30:41 -0800



            Fighter planes came low

            Over the house all morning.

            Ben looked concerned, "just planes,"

            My son said, but why here,

            Why now?  Somehow something

            Had changed.  A siren howled close by.

            They were coming for us once again.


            There is an important obligation

            Not to discriminate, not to

            Tell Susan they can't give her

            A transplant when she is old,

            But the chief surgeon

            Confessed the chance 

            Infinitesimally small.


            We answered the call

            And agreed to tests, as much

            As they liked.  She never

            Complained, but she is weary

            Especially of the more

            Stressful demands and

            Of the treatment.


            In my dream she was 

            As beautiful as she used to be.

            I took her in saying,

            "You have always been  

            Beautiful."  She looked at me

            Out of her torment, crying "it is too

            Hard now.  I'm not like that anymore."


            I woke suddenly, stumbling

            Up out of my lounge 

            Chair, unable to keep 

            My balance as the room 

            Spun.  I lurched down

            The hall to see for myself the

            Soft rise and fall of her breathing.


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