Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Heather Gelb- A Poem

Everybody's Baby and the Unborn Hero


They didn't think it
Possible that a girl old enough
To say her name could
Disappear down a dark hole,
The width not much larger than a birth canal -
Wedged deep in the earth,
Feet dangling over watery darkness.

The panicked mother ran inside,
Convinced her baby had merely fallen
Down the rabbit hole and
Would reappear through the looking glass.

The sound of the drill
Shattered her fantasy.
Unemployed oil well diggers arrived,
Looking to dig for something more
Precious than black gold.

Bring her back alive!
The mother screamed from the edge of her sanity.
For two days she sang lullabies down the dark well while
Hundreds of  volunteers
Wearing compassion and determination
Renamed her child
Everybody's Baby and
Dug a parallel canal, twenty then thirty feet deep.


The skinny paramedic, a young father himself,
Squeezed down and
Clung to his own sanity while
Reaching for the tiny, dirty foot.
They told him it was better to break her bones than leave her stuck.

In the end he saved her intact while losing pieces of himself.

Everybody's Baby emerged reborn to world celebration and
An embrace by a mother who has overcome the Worst while
The young paramedic emerged to world recognition as the Hero.
No one knew that he was still stuck in that narrow birth canal,
In the watery darkness surrounded by
Feeble cries of a struggling child.

While Everybody's Baby healed and grew stronger,
The young Hero sunk deeper into dark depression and  prescription drugs,
Losing jobs, family, then
Finally his life.

A forgotten hero in Texas, but I still remember him,
Wondering why nobody  knew
How to save him from himself.

Brief Bio: I often feel like a gazelle as I leap from hilltop to hilltop.
On one of these hills I recently publish my memoir, my spiritual journey from the hills of one land to another:  http://www.amazon.com/From-Hilltop-Path-Rwanda-Israel/dp/1937623076
One of my poems based on this book is  featured in the fall edition of Poetica Magazine.
I have also published stories and poetry in Green Panda Press, Deronda Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Stepping Stones, and Esra Magazine.

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