Cool - Poem by Mark Pollins
I still blame my incompetence for my father’s death. Is it four poundings to the heart, then six breaths into the misshapen mouth? Should I get a note-book out and notch up each breath? What a mess. I informed the operator in a matter-of-fact manner: “If the ambulance doesn’t arrive soon, they won’t have any reason to come.” Mad dog barking, snarling; while my mother was led off to the bed-room to spare her the last lifeless attempts. But me, I was cool, as if preparing to go out and see a film. It was Friday night, we had to arrange for two Muslims* to remove my father’s body… “unless you’d rather it stayed here until Saturday night”, offered the ambulance driver. The last time my father left our home he was naked, covered by two thick blankets which acted as a stretcher. The two Arabs carried the body out to a big van; they nearly banged it on the back doors. I said, “Be careful with his head”, not fully understanding the implications of the sentence.
* I live in Israel
Copyright Mark Pollins 2007
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