Poems to Zach Sowers (9 Months and Decision)

It’s been two and a half years since a friend of mine was attacked in Baltimore a block from his house and a few blocks from where I was living at the time. His name was Zach Sowers, and the brutal attack from three teenagers sent him into a coma from which he would never return. It was a time of immense emotion, waiting, upheaval, anger that rippled across the city, thanks to Anna (his wife’s) tireless efforts to affect change in a city so adverse to it. This profoundly experienced the way I view the city, and the way I view life. You can read the full story at http://www.zachsowers.com/. I wrote more than a few poems throughout the time. These are two.

9 months

At 27,
I was walking home from the bars
late, to the house, to my wife of nine months, to our dog,
and then there were shadowy figures and darkness.

The pain was intense. I floated above myself
for nine long months, waiting. Then the pain disappeared.

The waiting is over. I’m with my ancestors
and my heart beats on
in the breast of my wife.

(RIP Zach 3/25/08)

Decision

You vomited blood like coffee grounds.
And I read these words
of an unexpected setback
in a quiet office that overlooks a long hall.

I wonder
about the statistical chances of God
existing to send you
a miracle; weighing the prayers of those around me
against all of that
Existential philosophy.

Later on tonight,
when I’m sleeping, I expect to see you in my dreams.
I expect you to say,
“Cheer up. It’s my decision.
I’ll either walk the hall back to you
or I’ll go the other way.”

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