Putting Life Into Perspective - Poem by Kay Francis
A recent trip to the emergency room
set me back fifteen hundred dollars
and then some.
How I bitched and moaned about
the extraction from my wallet,
not to mention the pain in my leg,
and the inconvenience of having
to stay off it, and ice it down.
Today a friend called from Florida
in tears. Her Aunt Agnes had a
leg amputated above the knee.
Agnes lives in a nursing home.
An uncared for bed sore on her heel,
turned into gangrene.
Agnes' screams disrupted
the normal routine of the hospital.
The stench made my sweet friend
leave the room to vomit.
Shame on me for complaining!
I'll run a mile at twilight as penance.
Across the world a few days ago,
a white-haired retired Army Sergeant
returned to Vietman to find the remains
of a bunker he inhabited back in
the mid-1960's when he fought
an unpopular war.
His eyes welled up with tears
as he held the acrid soil in his hand
remembering how the blood of his men
stained it to the color of rust.
Now he has learned the soil will soon
be flavored by the sweet run-off from
a pineapple cannery being built there.
The soldier's tears evaporated
as he ran down an old, abandoned
air strip laughing; celebrating his life,
and those of his fallen comrades.
As he sprinted, he asked God,
'Is a man shaped by the land, or
the land shaped by the man? '
Agnes asks God
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