Numbers Game

Take care of the person
He/She is fragile
Look at the soft cups of their eyes, if you need any more proof

I have known a person who, in contravention of the given
narrative, was taken down
(Reached an end point too soon)
We cold not explain why he did what most definitely
factually, happened
The language showed its seams and could not help
Not at its most bald, or decorated

When a person we love is taken off it is –

1. Better or worse than we might have imagined. Better, because,
mostly, we do not fail to go on living. Which is, after all, the
main agenda.

This is one kind of experience:
You find a rope to hold
You are on a steep incline and you drag yourself upwards
or you hang on in stasis
You cannot describe it except to say there is no light, your
hands on the rope are raw and your whole body aches
At every moment you think
I cannot go on
but you go on

This is one way of getting through but
As you can see, it is not very satisfactory
To pass through something is rarely unscathing
There is also getting by
Getting by is not getting through, to paraphrase a person
Who famously…

2. Worse because –


It might be better not to make any other suggestions.


I was very young when I was cracked open.

Some things you should let go of
Others you shouldn’t
Views differ as to which

I kept hold of everything, just in case

We are trained to revere life
To look back on it at the end of a person’s life and count what we have
found of value
This is a kind of comfort
On the whole I conform to this theory
After all, what else can we do?

Praise be for the human spirit, and the spirits of animals
                      which also soar
                      Praise be for the gentle, brokenhearted person

When the terrible thing happened people said  Be strong
As if we might lay steel cable for bones, petrify our whole self

(The skin is a sort of protective organ and yet it is not safe from most
things, it is a weak kind of coating to put on a vulnerable person).

I repeated the phrase to someone in crisis
I do not know if they managed to achieve it


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