Today, now night; punctuated by gunshot..

Today I sat with strangers in the smooth green of a hospital
on chairs leaned from by daughters and their daughters and a son
(I assume)
and a sister (I think)
and a man
with the blood of his wife on the bib of his overalls
and on his lap, where he had cradled her
and screamed
when he found her beside the bed with a gun with a gun
with a gun
(his daughter with tattoos of the sun on her shoulders told me this, sobbing
and she had never heard before the sound of her dad’s scream)

I told them there were no answers, not now, maybe never
Prayers: “O Father God, hear..”
“Jesus!”
“Oh God, oh God, ohgodoh….”

The sister (of the man, it has been confirmed) and a granddaughter (probably)
on cell phones, telling others
“half an hour ago..”
“called 9-1-1..”
“there was an empty pill bottle..”
“no, beside the bed..”
“in the emergency room now..ohgodoh..”

My Prayer now: “Shhhh..hold somebody’s hand”
and then some words in my practiced voice low and slow,

It is quiet now, for a half a minute then a minute,
then there is the helicopter- we can hear it,
and a nurse comes in and says
the Care Flight to downtown is here,
and we can hear it and the daughters and the man and his sister and the son have
hope
in the helicopter
and hope in what is downtown.

They leave the room-
“who will ride with me, her, you?”
and “which cars?”

and I am the only one able to see in the nurse’s eyes
that time is bending again into eternity

Amen

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