Anthony W. Pahl

STRANGER

Do you still have my shirt, Bill?
Do you still have my shirt?
Is it still covering your arms and chest, Bill?
Is it relieving any hurt?

Do you still feel my hand, Bill?
Do you feel it squeezing tight?
I’ll hold on to your hand for life, Bill
Everything will be all right!

Do you know your head’s in my lap, Bill?
Do you know I’m drying your brow?
Can you believe how hard it’s raining, Bill?
Or do you know I’m crying now?

Do you know that you are shivering, Bill?
Do you know how cold you are?
Can you feel my jacket warm you, Bill?
I’ll hold you till we’re there!

Do you remember saying something to me, Bill?
Do you remember whispering in my ear?
Do you remember me saying ‘It’s my job, Bill,
Don’t you bloody die! You hear?’

You do still have my shirt, Bill
And my hand is still squeezing yours.
Your head is still in my lap, Bill
Where it’s been for over thirty years.

I still have the tears in my eyes, Bill
I can still feel your dying breath
I still clearly hear your ‘Thank you’, Bill.
You will remain alive until my death.

This poem is a sequel to “Bill” ~ ©Copyright July 26, 1995 by Anthony W. Pahl

And… inspired the responses, “Dear God” ©Copyright April 12, 2002 by Randy E. Richmond and “Stranger” ©Copyright April 30, 2002 by Christina A. Sharik