Sunday, April 19, 2009

About what I heard last night

First time the window is open, on a warm spring night. A faint conversation. A car door. Far to the south, a train.
Shut my eyes and remember the day and forget it, all at once. The dark a familiar friend, a door shut between the day's hurly-burly and night's quiet surcease.
Then through the window, softly as smoke, a siren sings and then another and a third, creating a concert of alarm, and I open my eyes but don't see anything.
And the sound gets louder and closer, a crescendo of warning and emergency, until it fills the room and chases away the quiet and the calm, and suddenly I fear the sirens come for me.
Yet still it's dark, and I can't see.
And the siren sings louder, louder--
Then crests and begins to fall, begins fading back into the night, and, I know, has passed me by.
Quiet and calm will come again, here.
Yet the sirens are drawn to somewhere, something: A frantic call, a sudden accident, a flames? Somewhere someone is scared, is hurt, is waiting, is wondering, is dying. In a truck cabin, a radio barks, a heart races, time stops. Headlights and horns rip through the night, a race to whoever, whatever, needs those sirens, that help.
In someone else's bedroom, a phone rings. Tonight, someone else will get up and go out to face that dark, noisome night and whatever it holds.
I turn over and let the superficial silence fill me, sleep closer than it should be, comforted by the easy way the sirens of the night rode on. This night.
Yet before I fall, a song from the afternoon whispers in my ear, a soft reminder:
"She got the call today
"One out of the gray
"And when the smoke cleared
"It took her breath away
"She said she didn't believe
"It could happen to me
"I guess we're all one phone call from our knees." (Mat Kearney,Closer to Love)

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