Like An Angel

Grownups feared the wall’s cave
Specialists could save my life
Winding under river currents
Downtown breaks through tunnel light

Risk of rupture, whispers strange
Worried look on mother’s face
“And your is them”
Leaking sounds
Wanted a puppy
Balloon scan found

A ghost that year
Rushed surgery
Remove from stem
What makes brain bleed

Boy, being petrified
No stuffed animal to hold
Blocking ears they think can’t hear
Tape over eyes with wads of gauze

Doc spoke to me real easy
Dad claimed it routine
Afterward at FAO Swarz
Said he’d buy a toy for me

And so that past Christmas
Time I can’t forget
Six years old, held back tears
Right side of my groin blood let

Hearing hums
Revved drill bit
Pulsing, throbbing
Did I see this?
Constant ticks of lids and lips
Machine kept beeping, click-click-clicks

They stopped my heart
Chilling soul
100 degrees
Reduced to cold 

As it happened
I had quit
Opened mind
Spirit split
Flat line
White light
Shocked to relive
Heard that “Clear!”
My self defibbed

Like an angel looking down
From above the gurney, gowned
Thought I watched myself die there
Could not tell what’s dream from real

*photo by me
Rockefeller Center (NYC)
Care for a reading?


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68 Responses to “Like An Angel”

  1. Being a father, this one kinda freaked me out. Heavy One Shot, Adam!

    P.S. – “Said he’d BUY a toy for me”

  2. another fantastic picture and another great read – enjoyed it a lot
    did this really happen to you? thought you watch yourself die – this is quite tough…esp. the second part of your poem has a breath-taking

    typo – buy instead of by..?
    Said he’d by a toy for me

  3. waystationone Says:

    dang dustus thsi is a vicious write..scary too…esp having little ones myself…nice pacing as well…got my heart rate up…smiles.

  4. Strong words Adam, poignant post! this depth in your thoughts is so amazing my friend..:)

  5. You’ve thoroughly captured the essence of childhood, the darker side thereof, where life is very simple and difficult to understand at the same time. No one can suffer so blindly as a child, which is why as adults we find it so disturbing–we’re made to share the powerlessness we all really have. A dark and deep piece, masterly.

  6. Gwylym Owen Says:

    This poem resonates, thanks my friend.

  7. great poem – very ‘real’ and scary! ‘opened mind spirit split’ very good πŸ™‚

  8. This was touching..ayoung one snuffed..gone. Great one shot Dustus

  9. This reminds me of when I had my tonsils out – except there was no dying involved. Chilling! Did you get your toy afterward?

  10. “And Your Is Them” – exactly as a child would hear aneurysm..this seemed so real and personal. “Blocking ears they think can’t hear” when every sense was so highly tuned. An image of a very personal Christmas. How generous of you Adam. I loved it. Gay

  11. Powerful, sobering poem. Thanks for sharing it.

  12. Nightmare my friend, sobering nightmare at that. Hearing yourself being “defibbed” these lines just bought tears.

  13. Scary. Really scary.

  14. You took me on a voyage of emotions, into a deep sea of life. Wonderful poem! Dave

  15. betweenhearts75 Says:

    Often we look at the holidays and see this “cheer” filled with tinsel and the holiday “spirit” but there are these events that can pass through our lives and set other impressions. One day in your sweet cheerful manner I see, your kind tweet in the mention of the holidays, and I got so sad… and with the economy among other memories. (I lost my grandmother 6 years to the day, today) …so reading this, and the emotion in it, and how views can be slightly altered of the season…I read and feel so much in it on a level, where…the last stanza so drawing of energy…that makes me want to say…YOU ARE HERE, and you are just as brilliant as an “angel” for some reason, some purpose…maybe an awareness in some form of strength of those pains…going on…so at this time in my life, I thank you for sharing this. ~April

    • Oh April, I am so sorry you’ve been having such a rough time. You’re one of the kindest people I’ve met on the ‘Net. You’re always supporting everyone in blogland, as well as on twitter, and I sincerely hope the holidays turn happier. This is such a rough time of year to recall losing loved ones. I always think of my grandparents this time of year. hedgewitch’s poem got me thinking of them earlier. *sigh* Understand a bit. Feel better, my dear friend.

      • betweenhearts75 Says:

        πŸ™‚ Things have lightened a bit dear friend…from precious people/ FRIENDS like you! ….oh and lots of humor too never hurts. Here’s a chuckle:
        My grandpa: “Catherine, you want a can of peas?”
        My grandma “No the dog don’t have no f’n fleas!!!”
        My grandpa “April, see that, she’s being mean to me again, please make her stop”
        Hearing Aid NEEDED! LOL ~Funny moments!
        One more: My daughter gets on phone with my older brother and says: “We’re going to trick Santa…give him crackers ‘cuz we have no cookies! They taste good with milk too ya know!”
        ~Laughter tears (we have cookies, not sure where she got that!! LOL) πŸ˜‰ *sigh…some balance…

  16. My goodness, Adam – sounds like a terrible experience, for father and son alike. Very personal, moving story, capitalizing on the powerlessness, and fear, and unknown that greets a child facing this – powerful poem that really touches. Marvelously done, sir!

  17. such a raw, real, expression of being between this world and the next.

  18. You definitely know how to evoke feelings. Terrifying and confusing. To know a child has to go through something like that ever is just…
    Awesome oneshot.

  19. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until the end. Very powerful.

  20. signed .............bkm Says:

    Obviously a deep personal experience Dustus with this intense writing…yes not all Christmases are joyous…and leave an impact on our life…hopefully this one did not leave you with Christmas nightmares…bkm

  21. Strong words and so beautifully written, Adam!
    Loved it!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Marinela x

  22. Indeed what makes brain bleed..nice One Shot

  23. I can’t say it any better than Hedgewitch. She has the words properly put together. I am still just ‘feeling’ this heart wrenching poem.

    Strong and haunting stuff, my friend.

    Lady Nyo

  24. Awesomely powerful poem. The narrative stands out so well, and the way you used painful memories as reminders that all is not well on xmas had a particularly fine flow. You write a good poem sir. Always a joy to swing through here and read your writing.


  25. moving descriptives, cant imagine myself experiencing it one day

  26. Very moving poem today. I hope all is well after all these years.

  27. quite surreal in places… I think the fact that you centre-align a free-verse piece adds to that feel for me… I see that less than you’d think (and it works not often)… does this piece favours. Solid piece here mate



  28. Some very raw emotions in this one…the one’s right next to a father’s heart.

  29. Wow. That was heartwrenching.

  30. Evocative and provocative.

  31. thoughtsnotlost Says:

    Love the feeling of movement in this poem. I felt myself thinking “and then what happens” as I read. I was hooked. Well done!

  32. Strong writing on mortality – thank you for sharing

  33. Wow… the images in this poem capture/paint this amazing experience so perfectly… “100 degrees Reduced to cold” …”Wanted a puppy”…haunting stuff…not a word is unnecessary, or easily forgotten.

    It was also nice to have the opportunity to hear it read πŸ™‚

  34. You’ve made me cry, thank you for that and for sharing this.

  35. What a poem. I really hope this didn’t happen to you. That’s really a scary thought. Mine is here.

  36. ….that was a heavy piece…very well done….i just hope the sadness in this wasnt you…pete

  37. Intense rush life-death stuff. Good work.

  38. wow. i was exhausted after finishing this…powerful, powerful writing.

  39. The rapid, staccato-like unfolding of what’s happening – had to stop to catch my breath. Good one, Adam!

  40. Great as always…Dustus…

  41. DEar Dustus
    Thank you so much for your GREAT commet i my blog-
    I said
    ‘I love it, really appreaciate it when people notice and realize I do not choose images at random…

    And I do not mention my dear Hemingway for the sake of it…

    Both stories so involved in this my simple poem…’

    Thanks for understanding do well
    Mr Writer

  42. Appreciate that, Dulce πŸ™‚

  43. This is strong, deep, and chilling and a masterful write.

  44. It is a morbid and a chilling thought. Being up there looking down. Phew! An excellent one Adam!

  45. Wow. As someone who has experienced many surgeries, I can tell you that you nailed the emotions and confusion of that time so well. Hoping this is fiction and you’re brilliant rather than you had to experience this…

  46. The pacing is great, Adam! Like rushing down with my heart latched on the gurney–and the so vivid images create a world of fear yet snatched away and uplifted by an angel. I actully sighed a breath of praise and thanksgiving witht he last stanza. Wonderful as always, “great” does not quite say it all. Thanks!

  47. Someone is Special Says:

    Powerful.. Intense… I loved it Dustus..

    –Someone is Special–

  48. Heavy, indeed. Well-done on giving us the fragmentary nature of such traumatic experiences. Took me right there to your experience of it, going out of life and coming back in. I learned long ago to give up expectations about events like holidays and birthdays. I enjoy whatever comes, although glad, as a mother, to not have experienced almost losing a child like that. Glad you are here. I also listened. Thanks for providing the recording. Trying to remember to do the same on my blog.

  49. a stunning poem, Adam. so much detail and a full story…is there such a thing as microfiction poetry? πŸ˜‰

  50. Wow, captured my attention from the very beginning. So beautifully written and moving. Thank you for contributing it to One Shot Wednesday.

  51. Lovely and wonderfully written! β™₯

  52. I believe I am at a lost for words. This is an amazing piece…full of so many different emotions. You sucked me in with every word. Amazing!
    The photo you used was perfect for this poem!

  53. You painted a vivid picture, capturing a near death experience. Fascinating and well written.

  54. This one really spooked the wits outta me, Adam! The imagery is just toooo vivid! I felt like I was watching some movie… a real scary one at that!
    The last stanza was a killer set of lines… too good!!!

    Have a safe, peaceful and BEAUTIFUL Christmas, Adam.. πŸ™‚

  55. Gripping write…grabs the heartstrings for sure…felt.

  56. Wow this piece has real impact! Gripping read right the way through. I particularly like these two lines

    Constant ticks of lids and lips
    Machine kept beeping, click-click-clicks – these lines give not only a sense of sound but also of time passing – very effective use of alliteration, assonance and repetition.

  57. Filled with poignant lines but” wanted a puppy” says it all for me. And that is a beautiful picture.

  58. Wow. This is such a powerful, visceral read. Terrifying and yet quite beautiful at the same time.

  59. …………(Β―`O´¯)
    …………*./ | \ .*
    ………, β€’ ‘*β™₯* ‘ β€’ ,
    ……. ‘*β€’ β™«β™«β™«β€’*’
    ….. ‘ *, β€’ ‘β™« ‘ β€’ ,* ‘
    ….’ * β€’ β™«*β™₯*β™«β€’ * ‘
    … * , β€’ Merry’ β€’ , * ‘
    …* ‘ β€’β™«β™«*β™₯*β™«β™« β€’ ‘ * ‘
    ‘ ‘ β€’ . CHRISTMAS . β€’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    ‘ ‘ β€’ β™«β™«β™«*β™₯*β™«β™«β™«β€’ * ‘ ‘

    Oh my
    I hope this has no copyright
    I m going all around the place
    visiting my faves and giving this for this day…special as it may…

    Merry Xmas

    my dear Dustus

  60. Extremely thoughtful, Dulce! How cool! Thank you so much.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family πŸ™‚

  61. so very intense and beautiful. I felt a pun in defibbed, not that this is not very serious and poignant– as in purified of one’s lies. but then I’m having a dark xmas eve…. kisses, Adam– j

  62. I love this. the way the tempo speeds and speeds, I can almost hear your fingers clacking the keys to get it out-out-out. the images are frightening, but that’s part of life. And poetry’s supposed to reflect and focus moments of time, fragments of emotion. I already said, the more I read, the more I like your work. Well, I mean it more now.

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