Day Thirty-Four

Rae's DAY THIRTY-FOUR

DAY THIRTY-FOUR

Day thirty-four is passing,
And still my son lies silent on the bed.
Drugged sleep contains him,
Keeps him from the talk of men.

Two battles rage when death knocks at his door:
One fought with tubes and pumps
and cat-scans and the like.
The second fought with words oft spoken
mixed with anguish and with tears.

I’m in that second battle now.
I do not ask for reasons, no,
I knock persistently on Heaven’s door.
I ask for Daniel, as did Daniel long ago:
Oh my Lord hear,
Oh my Lord act, and
Oh my Lord do not delay.

Paul Lloret, October 10, 2000


Rae’s DAY THIRTY-FOUR

My uncle Dan, Dad’s brother and Paul’s son, had a terrible accident that left him a coma for over a month and hospitalized for over six months. Uncle Dan, of the three Lloret siblings, was historically the most physically active – he was strong and loved to move, he was always working on something with his hands (the family mechanic), and his emotions were big and quick. The shock of the trauma he’d encountered was amplified by the complete change – instead of alive and moving he was still and close to death.

For quite a while after the accident all we focused on was whether he would live or die – concentrating all our attention on that monitor and the blips that assured us he was still hanging on. But it ate away at everyone. It began to feel like we would never talk to him again, never know him again. It became difficult to be hopeful. The shadowed form of a locust in this piece is a symbol for a spiritual sort of famine Dan’s family encountered as he lay in that bed.

(He’s alive and well today, by the way. Never quite as mobile as he once was but very much as mechanically inclined and emotive as ever.)

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