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Long Friday
By Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC (c)2016

Today
Was a Long Friday
Full of sad news
Images of the dead
Women screaming, crying
Another Black Man Dead
Another Officer Down
Old ID Photos
Old Selfies
Grainy in hindsight
Of smiles shattered
Newlyweds
Children
Women
Men
Video clips
Of sins
Accidents
Crimes
Peaceful marchers
Smiling cops
Unity and peace
Broken from above

Today
Was a Long Friday
Broken Spirits Online
Swapping megabytes of
      Despair
      Confusion
      Anger
      Fear
      Hurt
Trading online cards of
      Memories
      Quotes
      Memes
      Tears
      Hugs
      Promises:
If you forward!…
Sent from offices, homes, safety
As a Violence Veteran,
It was suffocating!

YOU. ALL. DON’T. KNOW.
I can’t shut them off
Images flood synapses
Twenty hands cradling a crying child
(me, hiking in the White Mountains)
Three EMTs working fruitlessly
(My birthday party at the cabin)
Bloodstained shirt
(My bloodstained wheelchair seat)
Faltering breath
(Oxygen mask)
Uniform cap
Upside down alone
Like the handmade sign
(My wedding dress
unworn
on the hanger)
Running people
(Missing son)
That sound
“No one human can reload that fast”
(“She was only here 2 hours
No one could have changed him that fast”)
I finally will my brain
To stop the slideshow
People tapping typing in safety
YOU. ALL. DON’T. KNOW.

Echoing in post after post
Is “Why?!” Unspoken
While
In the comments
Trolls on retainer
Busily Spin
Again
Repeating chorus
      Louisiana
      Minnesota
      Texas
I realize there are
       Zero
States left
That have been untouched

Today
Was a Long Friday
And I?
Pushed by fatigue
Into the pillows
Of my hospital bed
Even my home care aide
Even my favorite breakfast
Couldn’t keep sleep away
Nothing helped
     Fibromyalia aches
     Gastroperesis chills
     Heartburn
     Prickles
My skeletal frame
Curled up under a quilt
Almost motionless
When I finally awoke
      Reading
      Praying
      Clicking
      Praying
      Hearing
      Praying
      Watching
Seeing a reality
That was unreal.

Today
Was a Long Friday
At three o’clock
Christ had died
I finished my prayer
Took my medication
Slowly unfolded
Skinny limbs
One man, this one man
His words caught me
His frustration
His emotion
You can’t ignore
Such a cry
Not with my vows
I took a deep breath
Started to write
Pouring out words
That We are not all lost

Today
Was a Long Friday
God is my salvation
He whispered thoughts
That became Ideas
That birthed Hope
Which I wrote down
Poorly
Not elegant prose
Honest
I prayed the man would understand
Limitations of lesions
Could I?
Rammed into indecision
I missed a ride
Out of my created Purgatory
And twilight came

Today
Was a Long Friday
8pm alarm
Bathroom
Medicine
Ensure
The comfort of routine
A slight alleviation
To the bleak
Unending
Stream of Tweets
      Of Dallas
      Of Baton Rouge
      Of driving Black in a white neighborhood
      Of the untouched inbox
      Of the unpaid bills
      Of the uneaten food
      Of the same four walls
Again
Sarcastic laughter
Ricocheted around my ego
At my failure
     To beat the symptoms
     To change any hearts
     To gain a pound
     To make a sale
     To get to my living room chair
Again

Today
Was a Long Friday
11pm
Bell Tools
Pumpkin gone
I grasp the tiny
Glass slipper of Hope
     For the man
     For Dallas
     For my dog
Longing to go outside
Bathroom
Medicine
Wheel back to my bed
     Black
     White
     Crowd & Cops
     Shooters
     Healthy
     Me
Study in contrasts
As I say one last prayer
That I sleep
That We change
That Resurrection comes
Tomorrow for
      Dallas
      Blacks
      Cops
      Me
Amen.

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