Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

One Emergence




no moon in the sky

reaching for it anyway—

a siren wails in the night

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for the Placerville Volunteer Fire Department and EMTs

Within minutes after the ambulance leaves,
the girl who swallowed the ring
pulls out her toy doctor kit.

She fits the pink cuff onto my arm
and pumps until the little plastic dial changes colors.
What seemed like an emergency forty minutes before
has become a game. Only it is not a game.
She is replaying how we serve each other.

Our drive way, how small it seemed
flooded with red and white lights.
Nearly a dozen neighbors and strangers
rushed from their homes in response
to the terrified call.

Yes, my daughter says, I think you will be just fine.
Her voice is calm and reassuring. She speaks in the same
smooth tones that the EMTs used
as they sat on the floor beside her.
Now, she says, let’s check your temperature.

I marvel at how once the fear is gone,
it is gone—moved through, like the ring
no longer trapped in her throat.

What remains is relentless gratitude—
wave after wave of respect—
for all people who devote their lives
to meeting neighbors and strangers
in their most vulnerable, fragile, fearful states.

And what remains is deepening love
for the girl who even now
is reaching into her doctor kit
and pressing the button
on her pretend pager to say
that everything is going to be okay.

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