March 19, 2008
By Annie Keller, Eau Claire, WI

Ma says Ev has pneumonia
And he is very sick
That's all they'll tell me
Because they all say I'm
Too young to understand

The dust has stopped
A little
Better than last night when the dust covered everything
The food and furniture
The ceiling and floor
Colors fade into the dust
My world is no longer colorful and exiting
Just brown and bleary

Now we're in the hospital because late last night
Ev woke up coughing so hard
He couldn't breathe
Ma is crying
When I ask her what's wrong
She cries harder

A man in a big white coat is approaching us
Naddie and Ev and Ma and me
'My name is Doctor Armstrong. Ms. Lawrence, may I speak with you for a moment?'
Ma follows the doctor to a more secluded corner
Where Naddie and I can't hear
Then Ma takes us into her arms
And hugs us so hard I can't breathe

They're taking Ev away now
They covered him with a big black blanket
I ask Ma what's wrong
She says Ev is in a better place now
Where he can breathe better

Heaven, Ma says
Even I'm not too young
To understand that

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