Tom's News:

My brother Paul

praying for a miracle

I'm at Maria's Cafe in Woodstock,NY outside at a table on the first day of summer 2005 surrounded by huge bright flowers in giant clay pots.
I'm sitting under a cherry tree with a large cup of coffee and a fat strawberry jelly donut with the NY Times in front of me.
The sky is a rapturous blue and the sun is shining at a temperature in the perfect 70's.  Sparrows are flying to the ground, picking up bits of crumbs that customers have dropped or tossed specifically for the birds.
I spread the paper napkins in front of me and bite into the jelly
donut and a spray of red strawberry jam splatters across the napkins like drips from a Jackson Pollack painting.
I see my brother Paul lying in a cancer hospital in Boston, Mass--
where I have just returned from visiting him.  He is unconscious
from the heavy doses of morphine he has been given.  He has just had an operation in which 3 liters of blood have been sucked out of his belly to try to stop his internal hemoraging.
The dark room he is in is light years away from the sunny paradise where I am sitting.  He is fighting the hardest battle of his life.
The surgeons have cut him from his sternum to his groin and are unable to stitch the wound because they fear it will cause more internal bleeding.  So the space between his internal organs and the outside world is protected by a long thick layer of white gauze that is leaking blood. 
I look at the napkin before me stained red by the strawberry jam before me and al I can see is Paul. I'm not hungry anymore, not the least bit interested in the newspaper and in fact the glorious day around me has been sucked away in some dark vortex.
I throw the donut to the ground and 13 sparrows quickly descend upon it....ripping pieces of the sweet pastry until it has vanished and the birds all fly away in different directions.
For a moment I envision them as emissaries of hop,like the fabled butterfly whose fluttering wings in one corner of the earth can set off a chain reaction that can cause a hurricane in another corner of the world.....or in this case a miracle
Tom Pacheco

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