Daily Archives: October 3, 2017

Rescue Diver

I filled my pockets
with my hands
after wringing them
just a bit, then

tied a thought to one leg,
a prayer to the other, 
jumped into a flood, and
sank to the bottom.

Down there were thousands
who had sunk before me.
I cut the weights from my legs
and handed them out.

It was like the Sermon
on the Mount — I’m no 
savior but it seemed like
one thought and one prayer

went a long way
around that crowd.
As I rose back
to the bright air,

I started to think
about opening my heart and mind
to what I’d seen
but became afraid 

of taking on too much weight, 
drowning, suffocating like those
below.  Breaking surface
I swam ashore,

grabbed another thought,
another prayer, tied them on
as I stood on the bank, ready
to dive again, to do my part.


When people die
this way, taken 
from on high,
there will always
be someone who says,
do not speak

of how it happened
until we have wiped up
the blood and after
all the wounds are
bound and healed
or buried.

I confess,
I have been that person,
and in some ways I still am.
I cannot speak of
missile planes
and falling buildings
to this day.  I do not know
if I can be or ever will be
that person who can
argue or imply, 
speak truth or falsify,
dig snarling into another
over how and why —

but if you can, try.
If you can by such talk
somehow prevent
me and mine
and countless others
from standing
bloody and mute
among the dead, if you
can with all this chatter
open new doors and close
old ones, try.
I fail when I try.
I fail when I look
into a victim’s eyes — 

but out beyond the pain
of the moment, or perhaps
within the moment,

someone must try.