Day 26 of 31 Days in August, “Phone Call in the Night” 

Day 26 of 31 days in AugustThe Final Hours Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project


Day 6 of 22




The upcoming month of September is National Suicide Awareness Month http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Awareness-Month




The significance of 22 is the average number of veterans who die by suicide each day


Please visit Honor Courage Commitment, inc’s page https://www.22kill.com/team-22kill/ to learn about the mission and how they are bringing awareness by using the hashtag #22kill and their 22 push-up challenge.


***This Collection’s poems’s subject is suicide and can be triggering to read. Please practice CAUTION BEFORE READING***








“Phone Call in the Night”




The phone rang harshly


As I looked at the handset


I wondered out loud


Why the sound was always so abrupt


Why was it not soft or soothing


Taking a deep breath I answered


Praying inside for my words to be ..


The right words


The right tone


The right everything


To keep this person alive tonight


For a moment there was no reply


I sat and waited


This was not uncommon


I could hear ragged breathing


I waited


I looked at my list


Of what to do


Of how to ask the right questions


To find out where they were


If and only if they asked for help


The longest moments passed


Until I heard a soft voice


Unexpectedly a man’s voice


Broken by tears


He began to tell me his story


He told me all the things


Which woke him in the night


He told what he could not forget


We talked for nearly five hours


Until he had made it through the worst


We talked until he said he was okay


At the end he gave me his name and address


“Just in case”


And said “Thank you Mam’ for listening to me


And being so kind”


Then he hung up.


Two days later


The newspaper story


Stuck way in the back


Had the obituary of the same man


Who had told me his name


And his address


He’d died ‘unexpectedly’ at 46


He’d served his country


He’d been a hero to many


Tears poured down my face


As I sat at the table


As I thought about his tears


When he had finally spoken


Could I have done more


Could I have said better words


I thought about the stories he’d shared


I got up from the table


I stood at the window looking outside


I looked at the sky


I knew it had already been too late


He’d only needed someone to listen


He’d only needed to be kind


In the night he’d decided


It was to be his final hour






******

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