Pagosa Springs Artists

What I Felt, What I Heard


Before I heard anything, I felt the rumble
of the vibrating, undulating ground below me.
Followed by a roar of the crashing structure
about me, the roar of a landslide around me.
The earth was falling, all falling down. My
home crumbling, crashing in on top of me.
Sensations of feeling and hearing my world
Disappear, dissolve into rubble. Crumble
to dust, to mayhem. To damnation.

Trapped!  Buried alive and covered in debris,
I heard distant screams. Tasted choking dust.
Was unable to move. Tried vainly to think.
Saw slivers of light beyond murky swirls
of sifting, settling wreckage. Became aware
of utter destruction., pain and confusion.
Fought to keep my head. To keep panic
at bay. Was drawn to say some desperate
prayers. To call for help. Help! Help!

Heard settling rubble. Faraway cries
of others in trouble. Shouts of panic,
anger, fear. Knew their feelings. Felt
their keening. Felt the shifting debris
above me. The fear deep within, trying
to overtake me. Oh God, are you there?
Is anyone there? Can anyone hear?

Pain and fear!  Panic and desperation!

A far away voice, then receding noise.
Hanging on to hope in spite of many
lonely, hungry hours. Holding off
panic in spite of thirst and a dearth
of aid. Sinking slowly under the weight.
Just when slipping into a coma, heard
a faint call somehow. Almost didn't
focus enough to answer, almost
didn't wait to be saved.


first published in Nomad’s Choir

©2011 Bonnie Manion


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