Monday, June 05, 2006

Jennifer Hall's Elegy for her brother

My sixth man

Sunday, February thirteenth, two-thousand and five.
The phone rings.
Brother. Collapsed. Can’t breathe.
My heart stops.
My father rushes for the hospital three hours away.
I stay behind.
Can’t take this feeling, I know something is terribly wrong.
Why won’t anyone just tell me?
He’s gone already, I just know it.
I wish someone would just come out and say it.
The phone rings again.
The voice on the other line says “he didn’t make it”,
as if he didn’t reach his destination.
The words rip right through my flesh and stab at my heart.
Brother. Collapsed. Heart attack.
This is where bargaining with God comes in and I lose.
I want the funeral to get over with, before it’s even started.
Although I realize, once it’s over,
I must wake up and realize he’s really gone.
I see people there I haven’t seen in years, dressed in black and crying.
I am not crying. I do not know how to cry any more.
I get up to speak, to talk about how great my brother was.
Except, I hardly knew him at all.
All we had was hoop.
In the flower covered casket there has to be someone much older,
with gray hair whom died from old age.
Not a thirty five year old with two daughters whom suffered
a heart attack while playing basketball.
They said he was a walking time bomb.
The wind starts to blow as the Priest whispers a final prayer.
No one is crying now, except me.
They can’t be putting him in the ground, he has to much life to live.
God bless this man, for he was taken too soon.
Brother. Collapsed. Didn’t get to say goodbye.
I lay my rose down, and turn away.
I know my sixth man is finishing his game in heaven.

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