Title: Collapse
Disaster: Earthquake

Slumped in the kitchen of one of the hospices
Preparing food
For the hopelessly dying, under the auspices
Of St. Jude

With a thousand soul-destroying hours clocked, I brood;
Death's an old friend.
But languishing in his loathsome shadow does not preclude
A more shocking end.

A roomful of silent despair ignites to panicked rage as we suddenly contend
With shaking ground and walls,
Our sacred duty of care, our tangible self-preservation--which will transcend?
We ignore desperate calls

Sprinting away, relieved, the strong forsake the weak--the building falls
Crushed in its wake
The weeping, helpless patients in our care; one (maybe two?) still crawls...
Their bodies break

I watch, horrified, at more than mortal death--my very soul is at stake,
Yet I elude
The victims' pathetic pleas.  As if mirroring the frantic earth, my insides quake;
Their lives conclude.

The End

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