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Rated: E · Poetry · Experience · #2222490
Helen ignored her health, and it finally caught up with her.
That unexpected knocking was a wheeze
of terror in the breath of early morning.
Startled from my rapid eye movement,
I groped for a measure of comprehension,
and dashed to the door.  My elderly neighbor,
breathless and pale, holding to the ledge
of panic with weak fingernails, fearing
for his wife.  Then a snap-like sequence
ending in a plea, and a rapid return
unto his stricken love.

I stood on the icy porch and listened
as the siren slashed the pre-dawn quiet
like the plaintive wail of a mass extinction.
In the glare of lights that made me squint,
I waved an arm overhead, and directly
paramedics were hurrying down stairs
through the door.  A drop of perspiration
quivered above Tom's lip; he searched
for keys, stirring like a question mark
in blue slippers and half-buttoned
sky-blue flannel. 

Helen ignored the charity of her health
for over thirty years; no doctor looked
into her eyes.  Perhaps it was the throw-rug
of pride under which she swept improvidence;
I do not know.  But a diamond will not sparkle
when enshrouded in a tomb.  Another species,
a gray, bewildered cat, remained beneath the
kitchen table, motionless.  Early on a Saturday,
fine crystal fell to jagged rock, as I looked down
to witness the consequence of neglect.

31 Lines
Writer’s Cramp Winner
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