After many false alarms

Many times the family came running

Times the doctor’s just shook their heads

And nurses averted their eyes

Only to see him shake it off

And walk right out the door

Time and time again

But not this time

We all knew that this time

He had rounded the corner turn

And was heading for home

“Come now and hurry”

Were the words

And the miles flew

Hoping to be there in time

Images of the past

Raced past

Just like the little towns

Flashing lights

And passing cars

Most revolved around laughter

Miles flew

Then town and following old directions

To find the place

The last visiting place

Aware of each second

As a turn was missed

Then it was there

It was in time

He would not wake

But was still hanging on

So said eerie number in green

On the machines

Heartbeats, breaths, pressure

And more

A report card ever present

As the day passed

The room filled as we all arrived

To talk quietly

And gaze uneasily

At the tubes and wires

And the sound of a respirator

We hugged and talked

And laughed a bit

As the day wore by

More laughter came

As we talked of times

Those times

Where he was the center of our memories

Is it strange now to say

That we had fun

For we did

We told stories about this time and that

And in our minds heard

That rough sounding chortling laughter of his

That echoed all about the room

In each of our thoughts

To passersby it must have been strange

For all our laughter

When the scene should have been grim

But in his presence

Not matter where, no matter when

There had always been laughter

It always lit his eyes

And filled our lives

As it now filled this room

Soon the sounds of the machines were gone

For it was time to let go

I thought of a time years ago

And a promise

Three of us had made

No machines for us

We promised each other

And I was glad now

It was unnecessary to keep that vow

The minutes clicked past

As we watched the numbers

Slowly go down

The laughter didn’t stop

Though there it sometimes grew

More poignant with time

Almost all of us were there

Except one

And she called just as the numbers slipped lower

She was close

Hurry we told her

Just hurry

And she too was in time

To talk to him one last time

In his silence

It was almost as he was waiting

For the last to arrive

For soon

Very soon

He began to slip away

We gathered in a circle around the bed

And touched him

Touched whatever we were near

Some stroked his head

Others his arms

His legs

His feet

But we all had a hold of him

And rubbed

Wanting him to feel

All this love

To know how much we cared

It was quiet now

No laughter

Heads bowed

The only sounds were soft rustling

Of hands rubbing again cloth

And dry skin

When the last beat came

The last breath

The circle of love was there

Touching, rubbing and listening

Wanting to hear that laughter one more time




02:16 PM