A man dying

“Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

 

On a toasty July afternoon

I saw a man die on the sidewalk

 

I didn’t know him

Didn’t see what happened

 

He was lying there

On the hard concrete

 

There were tubes coming out of his mouth

A faded beige truck beside him

 

The passenger door hung open

His body only moved to the rhythm of the CPR

 

His breath didn’t come back

People, unphased by the dying man, hurried to continue their lives

 

I stood, shocked and frozen

Stared and hoped

 

He was quite young

He died alone and only half a dozen people stopped

 

Life left his body

Raindrops started drizzling

 

Yellow lines hugged the block

And the world resumed

 

4 Responses

  1. That last line made the hairs on my body stand up. It brought back a memory.
    It was 21 years ago. I was at a nearby beach with my daughter, who was almost eight months pregnant. We’d been crying.I shook my head in confusion as I watched holiday makers walking down the makeshift steps that led to the sands, with their children, their windbreaks and beach balls and excited faces. I couldn’t understand how life could possibly be carrying on as normal; how those people could smile and laugh, when there was no longer anything to be happy about. My daughter was scratching her boyfriend’s name in the sand. Mark, the father of her unborn baby. He wasn’t with us. He’d died, suddenly, a week before.
    I didn’t want her to write his name there. I knew it would be swept away by the tide. We watched it happen, and we wept again. Even now, the memory brings tears to my eyes.
    You have a way of getting t the heart of things.

    1. Oh wow, Your beautiful story gave me goose bumps. I’m so sorry to hear about such a tough time. I understand how you felt. We lost a young family member years ago, and at the time, it felt like the world must stop, nothing can keep going on, and that moving on would be impossible. But life finds a way to keep going on.

Share your thoughts

Back to Top
%d bloggers like this: