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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Sunday, April 11, 2010

THE LAST TEXT April 11, 2010 prompt "the last ___________"

The Last Text

Rumours were flying and I for one
Did not believe for a minute
That you were really missing

Even when I was tacking up those
Posters all over town, I just thought
You needed to go to ground

Gain some perspective, take a break
Hey – I could relate – believe me
Then a close friend confided

You had just switched meds
Meds? I hadn’t known you were on any
Oh yeah, for years – how could it be

More posters going up, a little
More urgency – I still thought you
Were just in hiding; you were so, so

Alive – and competent, and vibrant
Why would you not want to live?
I didn’t believe it, not for a minute

My son-in-law called – he’s a cop
They were fishing a body out of the river
He wanted me to know before I heard it

On the news – it didn’t have to be you
Did it? I asked him that – is it him?
He could neither deny nor confirm

But the tone of his voice was pitying
I love him but I hated that –
The way he seemed to feel he had to

Well, shield me, or protect me
Especially because I was still putting
Up posters, refusing to believe

Even as they pulled someone
From that muddy river, that it
Was you – it didn’t have to be you

What clinched it for me – aside
From the autopsy, I mean
Before those results were in -

I ran into your room-mate
And we stopped for coffee
She confided in me that the night

You had walked away from your place
You had texted her from the bridge
Oh my God, I just stared at her

Did you tell the cops this?
His family? She shook her head
She had only just remembered ...

What did it say – I asked, not really
Wanting to know but needing to, you know?
She took her phone our of her bag

Fiddled with it for a few seconds
Then held it up so I could read the letters
On the screen, “Jesus wept”, and his initials

All the air in the coffee-house rushed
Out as we stared at each other
Crying and holding hands

“He was an atheist,” I whispered
“I know, I know,” she said
“I don’t know what I should do with these ...”

Posters of a once-missing friend
Found dead in the river
An atheist who at last found Jesus?

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