STEADFAST COMPANIONS by Harry Kuhn

The high pitched wail of a siren awakens me.
Sleep, thick and heavy in my eyes as I try to see.
What an odd dream I had, all dead people, it seemed, but alive and well.
I’ll tell Jim about it when I call him.
Suddenly I am wide awake and know that Jim is also dead; Dan too.
There is a pressure in my chest that is not physical and I clear my mind as I dress.
I expected that as a matter of course, our ages being so far apart, I’d outlive them.
But who expected them to go so suddenly and in such a short span of time?
I sip my morning coffee and think about the day ahead, a COVID day.
I could go for a walk; the coffee shops and restaurants are open now, but I stay clear of them.
Checking emails and Facebook doesn’t lift my spirits.
Who can I phone for some pleasant, and distracting, conversation?
No one, really; it’s all text messages these days.
A few years ago I had four brothers, three still at the beginning of this year.
Now I have one.
I have so much time to sit and think such thoughts and how distant I’ve grown from most family.
The downside of living alone.
This is nature running its course; my turn will come.
I pick up my book and turn to the marked page.
My steadfast companions.

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