April Poem 8: NaPoWriMo: With no God to Cry For

What kind of a devil is Death leaving a man helpless on his knees with a wad of chewed meat in his hand?
Death lingers just outside your vision.
He whispers just quietly enough that you can’t hear.
But he is there waiting to step into the frame.
Your three year old steps away from the dinner table to have his diaper changed.
A mouthful of food.
A hacking cough.
The red faced gagging.
True to training, you grab him with the crook of your left arm between his legs, your palm out across his chest.
You lift him tilting his head toward the floor resting your arm on your knee.
You clap him on the back with your strong arm.
His ears beat red. The side of his cheek that you can see turning a shade of purple.
You clap harder. You beat him on the back.
You think he is still not breathing. Ask him something.
“Are you breathing? Are you breathing?”
You hear nothing. Listen for his breath. Put your ear next to his mouth.
You bend down keeping his head tilted toward the floor.
His cheeks are full. There is something in his mouth. Use a finger sweep.
But he is still conscious. He sees your hand. His lips part.
He spits a wad of chewed sausage into the palm of your hand.
He croaks one ragged breath, much too short. Your ear still by his mouth.
“Are you breathing?”
No response. His face still red. Is it from the blood rushing toward his head?
You call out for his mother. Because he is unable to, you cry for him. You scream for his mom.
She doesn’t come.
You can’t stop trying to save him.
You can’t pick up the phone.
You can’t call 911.
Where is his mother?
Where is yours?

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