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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.43 ~ Bill Berkowitz

Happy Birthday Gale Bataille

Written and Narrated by Bill Berkowitz


Happy Birthday Gale Bataille

“There are people who believe in miracles” (Written the day after Gale’s double lung-transplant 2-+ years ago)

“Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch” — Yahuda Halevi

Some people believe in miracles and aren’t afraid to talk about it.

They see wonder that cannot be explained, and call them miracles.

Materialists look elsewhere for explanations of sometime inexplicable phenomena: laws of science they might say.

Sometimes the word miracle gets tossed around haphazardly, like when the 1980 US Olympic hockey team best the Russians and Al Michaels, the US announcer, bellowed “Do you believe in miracles? Yes.”

When times are hard and politics makes it difficult to grasp the senselessness of it all,

we desperately look for comfort.

In a well-lit, clatter-filled ICU,

loud with life-tracking machines,

as busy as Times Square ever is,

patients are brought to recover from operations impossible mere decades ago.

You are waging an enormous struggle.

Wires are everywhere,

fluids drip into your veins,

your brain fights to adjust to the sad gift of someone else’s lungs.

You awake confused and uncertain.

Outside the room,

some see a miracle in the making.

There will no sainthood conferred

on the surgeons, the doctors, or the nursing staff, but it wouldn’t be out of order to consider them modern-day miracle workers.

And when miracles are talked about amongst friends, and the wonders of medicine are marveled at, and when you are the good news that many need to sustain them through these perilous times,

And you are fighting for another day,

and the word miracle might roll off the tongue with loving gratitude,

we will have you.

We will have you.



Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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