When Matt Is Dead

The phone will ring at Matt’s mother’s house and the lady will ask are you Matt’s mother and she’ll say yes because she is.  The lady will ask is This your address and Matt’s mother will say What’s This About but the lady won’t tell her though.

The lady uses words that are hollow and heavy and weigh down the heads of the ears that hear them.  These are those words:  We Are Sending Officers To Your Home Is Someone There With You.

Matt’s mother will call Matt and Matt will not answer but his voice will say he’ll call her back.  Matt’s mother will call Matt’s brother and when he answers she’ll know The Who but not for sure The What Or How for another two hours while the officers chopper in.

The meantime leaves a long time to wait and to dial Matt’s number again for the message he’ll call her back which is less and less likely as the night wears on and the officers fly with news too heavy for the ground to hold.

The officers land and hand off the news to Matt’s mother and father who sift through scenarios, each one ending with Matthew fine.   The dad drives down to tell the man the boy they have is not his, and he readies the words I Don’t Know Him but He’s Ours comes out instead.

Later Matt’s mother will phone with news your ears won’t hear.  She’ll say it once and then again.  Repeating these words, as you’ll soon find out, is a slash through the chest wall, so please make note to hear it right the first time.  Along with Matt’s news the request: Will You Call And Tell The Others.  Yes, you say, you will and do, and Matt is dead to Patricia, then Mary.  Matt is dead to George, then Cathy and Tommy.  Matt is dead to your dad and your mother who is dying.

When Matt is dead, then Matt is dead too many times to bear.

6 Responses to “When Matt Is Dead”

  1. God. I hope this is fiction.
    But it feels
    too much
    to be.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    you’ve captured my truth, too, in your experience and words, and empathized to the nth, so that we’re all here together


  3. This is the most accurate, therefore heartbreaking, news of death- having lived through it several times.

    You are amazing.

  4. clancyjane Says:

    …In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember Matthew Adams. As long as we live, he too shall live, for he is now a part of us as we remember him.


  5. on Mother’s Day and every other, we remember Matthew Adams and his MotheR and his dad & brother for they are a part of us

    a genius writing witness preserves precious people
    senshu clancy j

  6. fresh — all over again — just as it is for his people

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