Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Target on Monday

A delay at the check out and everyone is tense
To my right, a white haired lady is on the floor
An EMT listens to her chest

I sit Josie backwards in the cart with the hope
she won't notice the quiet commotion
after all
she's pretty excited today about kid stuff:
headbands, ponytail holders, goldfish crackers
a new bike helmet

my cashier is distracted
"...she sat down and fell asleep on the bench and they couldn't wake her up"
I look again
everyone is staring
some people actually have their mouths hanging open
I wish they could see themselves

And I feel it rising in my gut
the warmth around my eyes
the fear of Josie sensing death
the fear of my own death
of dying in a public place
of sitting down to rest one minute
dying the next
to have it end so fast
to not KNOW
but I write out the check
and calmly roll the basket toward the exit
I look again
though I know I shouldn't
the EMT is doing CPR
I see her body, her belly jiggle

at the car I break down
the lady loading her trunk next to me stares
(so rude)
Josie wants goldfish to eat and to know why I'm sad
but I can't speak and sometimes there's just too much
to explain to a 4 year old

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