THE BEAT GOES ON – February 2011


By Michael Cook


hourglass2011It’s only a letter, yet for Carmen it’s a ticking clock whose spring has nearly unwound. Let’s listen for a few seconds tic tock, tock, tock, tic.

It does not matter that she’s at the top of the list, for only death will give her new life. But time is running out so the experts say, but unlike a clock they cannot be precise, maybe a month or maybe less. This does not help, but increases the stress. And speech that once did freely flow is now jailed by a shortness of breath.

O what letter, a blood so rare

To match a heart, a gift to share

For will it be or not to be

An escape from degenerative Cardiomyopathy

Let this story now unfold.

Johnny didn’t know when he woke that fateful day, he was going to die. He was young of heart and in love for the very first time with a sophomore student called Beth. His 67 Mustang now took second place. It was Beth who made his heart now race and not the purring of a straight six at the traffic lights, wanting to leave 2,000 miles of burning rubber on the black top. His friends all thought he was on borrowed time. Yet 90 mile per hour for Johnny was no crime. It was all down to the adrenaline pumping through the cylinders of his heart. It was all about the rush, the power throbbing under the hood.

That’s how Johnny imagined making love.

He had a lot to learn.

It was around 4 o’clock when he arrived on campus to pick Beth up. Her cherry red lips opened to meld in a gift of wax upon his lips.

Man Johnny was raring to go.

“What say we take route 24 and open this baby up and make her come alive?”

“Cool let’s go.”

The sinewy precarious horse hair threads holding the sword of Damocles above his head were snapping at every corner as the center lines merged into one and the trees became a wall of bark. Johnny saw the deer in passing as he hurtled through the windshield, bouncing like a skimming stone off the gravel road. A meteor shower of glass turned the beauty of Beth’s face into a crater of pitted pools of red, her seat belt being her saving grace.

A concave skull fracture let the blood run free

Eyes a blur it was hard to see.

Johnny was bleeding out

And death was coming there was no doubt

His heart was straining to pump more blood

But it just spilled and spilled right out.

“I’m cold, so cold, where are my toes and finger tips.

I cannot feel if I bite my lips

Beth where are you? I need for you to hold my hand

My life is slipping like grains of sand

I want to see her before I die

My eyes are closed, last breath, a sigh.

Let now his heart pick up the pen and write the final chapter then.

Only God knows where I am

My muscles feel so relaxed

Am I in a spiritual conscious state?

What’s that noise?

Sounds just like a circular saw

Johnny’s chest was parted just like a sliding door

I have never seen the light before

Umm what’s going on?

I feel warm hands now cradle me

And lift me gentle like a baby

From light to dark, a cool box do I lay

Covered in ice I have no say

To whose chest I live and rest this day

I hear rotor blades as I bounce about

Easy guys I want to shout

Once more I see the light and rest

I cannot see the open chest

Yet I feel uneasy, it doesn’t seem right

What if I’m rejected because the body puts up a fight?

Gently I am lowered into my new life

Just glue and sutures, no more surgeons’ knife

My mother’s womb that bore this life

I now give back myself a son once more

A mother’s son the beat goes on.

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