Sunday, November 13, 2011


We three sat in the church cafeteria after a morning session on grief,
counseling those in jail, and visiting the terminally ill. She had Lou
Gehrig's disease, told by the doctors that she should not be able to walk,
but by force of will bearing herself upright, each step perhaps
the last, moving legs from the pelvis squarely against
the pressure of the world, hopelessness, and body shutdown.

He was a plumber, built like the proverbial spark plug,
70, with a handshake like a vise. He'd almost died at Bataan,
he started to tell us out of the blue, a memory ripe and
vivid as the taste of the sandwich I ate. He walked the hundreds of miles
without food and water in sweltering jungle heat. Those who did not last,
clubbed or shot to death. His hands gripped an invisible enemy as he
relived the five men he killed with his knife or gouging out eyes.

(c) Copyright Charles David Miller. All rights reserved.


  1. I have a sad sense of understanding with empathy...

  2. I love the twined sense of strength that each stanza carries, in each of their weights is a balance for the other...the inner versus the outer,what measures more clearly louder,tis not a question of quantification...merely, that in each of us,this strength of love is our supplication...well done..glad I waited til Monday morning to read...starts a week right...namaste..Edward

  3. Charles I'm so glad I remembered I still owed you a read. This piece packs a punch. One that I was not prepared for, which made it all the more powerful. Nice to meet you.

  4. Sad, and yet the individuals show a strength... The images are great, immediate. I liked especially the description of the plumber, built like the proverbial spark plug, and a memory ripe and / vivid as the taste of the sandwich I ate