A Country-style Emergency

It struck him suddenly,
without a warning. Pain, such pain!
His hymn just sung solo - wonderfully.
“I can’t breathe! My back is killing me! This is insane!”

Collapse...now pandemonium in the country church.
“Just hold on! We are taking you to the Bernice hospital!”
Fade in, fade out. Voices, pain, movement...stopping with a lurch.
As blackness begins, floating...unconsciousness. Later, awake a little...

Whop, whop, whop, whop, whop, whop, whop, whop....
A dreamy state...nighttime sky, flashing lights...voices near.
“...air evac...to Shreveport...Try to hang on...Fight. Don’t stop.”
Through his haze, like a bell, his wife’s sweet voice “I love you, dear.”

Within hours the hospital’s surgical waiting room begins to fill.
At first, immediate family...how quickly word is spread!
Soon a true country gathering - cousins (first through third), still
more relatives, lifelong friends; to show support, not much need be said.

Still they arrive…church members, neighbors...”Such a good man!”
The news is bad. His aorta tore. Surgery might have come too late.
A doctor now talks to family. It’ll be hours...doing all that we can.
Won’t be before morning. Might as well go home. No need to wait.

“Humph. City doctor! Must not know country folk always will wait.”
For love, for friendship, there to support his family if it was ‘too late’.
And so, this country gathering all quietly remain, to wait and wait.

Harry Edward Gilleland      07.20.02