The same morning I press my shorn chest flat against an x-ray machine, my sister pushes from her body a baby girl. Praise God, whose hand passes over itself like river currents as it gives and takes, pulls one film from the whirring machine while pushing in a new, unprinted slide. Praise God for this fearful doubling, over which I will sometimes weep and curse. Little breathing at the still whole breast of my sister, little gold seed of death awakening as the first sun touches its tendrils.
They are coming for the body; a nurse certifies That who she was is no longer resident in what She was, selah. They turn out to be one woman. Her name is Helene. Selah. She eases what was A woman onto a gurney. A daughter assists her. Though the waters roar and be troubled, we will Not fear, though the mountains vanish in the sea. Selah. Would you like your mother to be facing Up or down? Up, please, selah. She zips the bag. She did believe, yes she did, selah, she received The glories of the Lord each and every day with Her eyes which remained hawkish until her final Breath. Is that so? says Helene, selah. Transplant Candidates, then, certainly. Sign here . . . and here. I will drive very carefully, absolutely. His mercy Upon her soul, selah. She trusted in thee. Refuge She will discover in thee, and her husband’s arm, And her mother’s kiss, and all calamities are past, Selah, and housekeeping will come for the sheets. God is in the midst of her, and God shall help her. There is a river; the waters of which have no end; Amen and then again amen. In the lobby a father Is reading the sports section while his child gulps The biggest soda I have ever seen on this blessed Wild and weary earth; amen and then again amen.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).