Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

Police pound on his son’s door.

They look through windows

shouting his name

again and again.

Outside the father paces

back and forth, back and forth

the lines in his face

drawn with gravity,

his lips pulled tight.

Two silent crows

land on a nearby rooftop

then fly off to the trees.

He watches absently

like we do

when something normal happens

in the middle of awful.

Later, long after

they’ve broken down the door

and found his son alive

and the ambulance comes –

long, long after

his son has recovered

and all is well again –

years later in fact,

the father will look back

on those moments of anguish

and remember the crows.


© 2013, 2014  Betty Hayes Albright


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Hello, my friends,

are you there?

This is an emergency.

I need someone

to come repair

my shattered biosphere.

The ocean’s clogged

with plastic sludge,

the beach is cut

with broken glass,

my raging fever

melts the ice

and all the while

my insides churn

as ancient trees

are turned to tables,

wild creatures

robbed of fur

their heads mounted

on walls.

I sob aloud

and strain to breathe

the muddy air

my tears are lava

running through your villages

I’ve lost my balance

can’t control

the atmosphere

it spins and bawls

across the plains

I quake apart

your buildings fall

the dust roars through

our sacred land

my voice grows hoarse

but still I call out

desperately –

Can you hear me now?


© 2013  Betty Hayes Albright




thCAERWJ4RImage from Bing

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It’s raining

when the police cars

and ambulance

park in front

of the old man’s apartment.

They leave their windshield wipers on

and hurry inside

with oxygen

and a defibrillator.

Twenty minutes later

they’re back outside

with blank faces

putting away equipment

talking on cell phones.

The rain has stopped

but their wipers still scrape

back and forth

on dry windows

like pendulums counting notes

in a last refrain.

When the clouds part

they all drive away

and the sun shines

on the old man’s home.

Tendrils of steam

from the wet pavement

hover above the parking lot,

then rise gently

up into the sky.


© 2013  Betty Hayes Albright 

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