At the intersection of writing and life with the author of the Cameron Ballack mysteries

Monday, November 11, 2013

Twenty Days of Comfort: Day 8, "Joshua"

Jordan adored both of his siblings, no doubt. But three months into his life big brother Joshua had to have spinal fusion surgery at Miami Children's Hospital. Recovery was brutal, and within the first week post-surgery Joshua went into septic shock and nearly died. Obviously, he recovered, but the moments before we knew he was in the clear were quite dicey.

In this poem, Jordan brings to mind something Joshua said to me when Jordan was a little peanut struggling to thrive in the NICU soon after birth in April 2007. One day, Joshua said point-blank, "I don't want Jordan to die. Can I give him some blood or some air from my lungs to make him feel better?" 

Medical improbabilities aside, it was a sweet gesture full of hope, the hope Jordan's voice reciprocates now.


On my tenth day he held me.
His smiles rolled down like a river.
Now held in a bed not fifty yards away,
He fights for his life.

When I was born, struggling, he asked
If he could give me blood or air
From his lungs. So deep was his wish
That I live as he seeks to do.

My parents cry to God, who watches him,
But does the Cross lurk behind
Clouds and darkness?
Come near, Jesus:
What my brother wanted before.

Come near, Jesus. Speak, speak to him,
Joshua, my brother, my brother.

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