When Eva watched her mother breathe her last –
That last soul-breath slip past her lips so slow –
She stood and shook and glared into the past,
At all the recent deaths: her Uncle Joe,
Her grandfather, her husband, and her son
A year of death now took its toll and she
Ran out of her dead mother’s room, to run
Not from the face of death, but so she’d be
Out in the open, free to face the world,
The universe and God. She then yelled out:
“What kind of God could let her die? You hurled
Each person that I love from me. About
Me all I see is death, you murderer!”
The wind picked up and blew a gale, the sky
Turned gray with clouds. The lightning frightened her,
And every peal of thunder made her cry.
But then the weather settled down – the violent
Became a peaceful calm. The sun now shined
And all the world around her became silent.
The voice that came was firm but not unkind:
“And who are you that no one in your life
Should die? Do you think death won’t come for you?
What makes you think your life should not have strife
When every person’s life must bear its due?”
She humbled down before the voice and asked:
“But why so many all at once? And why
My husband and my little boy? They basked
In your enduring light – but you let die
The ones who loved you most.” The voice was still:
“And you?” And Eva wept such fruitful tears
As she had never wept before. The bill
Was paid, with interest, for her many years.