What I Learned from my Near-Death Experience

There are moments you don’t know about.

There was an afternoon when you fell asleep unexpectedly,

With your chubby cheek pressed against the side of a corduroy sofa,

And a loved one kissed your temple.

And checked your breathing.

There was a lunch break in high school.

A small group with a common complaint about you,

And one friend who spoke with a shaking voice in disagreement,

And stuck up for you.

There was something artful you created.

When it didn’t receive much attention, you disregarded it.

But one person never forgot it, and they keep tabs on you.

And root for you.

There was a doctor,

Who seemed so stoic in the face of your fear.

But once home, she admitted, “I was scared, too.”

And dreamt of you.

There was an evening you no longer remember.

But above you, there was someone sitting on a flight,

And they looked down at the crisscrossed lights,

And overwhelmed by the beauty beneath them,

They prayed in gratitude for everyone below,

And blessed you.

I don’t know if a benevolent God watches us and sends us love.

But I know about that afternoon,

When they pulled you gasping from the water,

And someone you’ve never met watched from the beach

And thought to themselves,

“I’m so glad they’re okay.”


December 10th, 2022, I was rescued from a riptide on the southern coast of Mexico. Afterward, I was breathing heavily with wide eyes, and an Australian man about my Dad’s age saw my fear and wrapped me in a hug. I’m dedicating this poem to him and the ones he loves, and I’m reflecting on how we never have to feel alone when we know that there is no place in the universe where love does not reach us. 





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