Wherever the Cherubim Stay
Only the comfort of a plastic-cord labyrinth connects you to me. Electrons move back and forth on a landing strip, assisting a machine which forces your lungs to fill and deflate. Filling and deflating with sterile oxygen from flimsy tubes, only the pale skin around your lips, nose, and eyes are exposed as wrappings hide the rest of your frame. Hours trench on and my gaze can’t be lifted from the monitor, listing an entanglement of numbers. Numbers that are the only evidence of any part of you left in there. The smell of charred flesh still spins in the room, curling up into the air, imitating the smoke from that morning. I tried to run in. I tried to be that parent that lifts cars and moves heaven over earth to save their babies. Men dressed in garments I had only ever seen on television ripped me away before I could get to you. The whole world was caving in on me at the thought of leaving you in there. They pulled you out and words raced by me in a whirlwind… “alive’… “third-degree” … “miracle…”
Ominous beeps from the machines bring me back to reality. Machines, engineered to keep people alive, operated by nurses and doctors with the qualifications to keep people alive. Even when nature clearly ushered you to kiss the face of death… machines keep beeping in equidistant pulses.
Where did you go? Are you trapped in some sort of life-and-death purgatory? Religion was always a fictitious facade to me until now, as the sheer thought of you being thrown into oblivion with one arbitrary stroke of lightning brings me to my knees. Nurses shuffle back and forth to different rooms, each adorned with scrubs ironically decorated with puppies, kittens, and the occasional rainbow. Eleanor, your precious nurse who is somewhere between the I-have-adult-children and I-have-multiple-grandkids age, fashions scrubs with an assortment of cherubim, riding on clouds and wearing golden halos. I shake off my wondering thoughts with a quick jolt. There’s no way that you’ve already left me and gone wherever the cherubim stay. You’re still my little girl. You’re still in there. Somewhere.