The Death of a Dispatcher

 

In Memory:  Sandi Alva

RIP:  December 19th, 2014

 

No matter the exigency, the work goes on.

This job, demanding nothing less,

Continues to be executed supremely well

By the competent and the truly great, alike.

Ours is a kaleidoscopic focus;

We hear a hundred, fractured voices

Simultaneously talk, yell, or gasp

Through the raspy static of a radio wave.

We excel at sifting sense from it all,

Envisioning with a third, penetrating eye.

 

A cloistered life this is, sans a spoken oath or vow.

Whether it is over suddenly, or concludes at last,

None of us falls in the field heroically, tragically,

Dare I say it, like our betters.

Nonetheless, we are soldiers too,

Some of us grown old.  We simply fade away,

Exiled from sight, sometimes out of our minds,

Unremembered by the young.  Worse still,

After years of talking cryptically in code, of life,

Of death, we fall silent, with nothing more to say.

 

Today, at our blessed best, upon the demise

Of one of our own we’ve come together,

The work being staffed by a skeleton crew.

We realize anew what we knew full well:

Here was a woman of proven worth.

But, Sandi was so much more, was she not?

Perhaps, she sang to the dawn,

Strolling barefoot along the strand

Of some secluded beach with her Makai,

Until they sat in peace at twilight, staring out to sea.

 

She had a privacy outside of work she prized,

As do we all, unlike the callers who hector us

Mercilessly with the trouble of their turbulent lives.

Ever in our ear we hear a keening voice, so clear

And near.  God, come now, take pity on them, on us.

Never again will we hear dear Sandi laugh at us;

Nor, with our prescience sense her sorrow.

Take comfort in her choice.  She chose to listen in

On the world’s woe and offer it succor;

A choice we made as well, that others make behind us.

 

When all memory of our existence is extinguished,

This work continues

Here, Everywhere, Forever.

 

Steven Golden

 

December 19th-24th, 2014

January 17th, 2015

August 25th, 2015

July 18th – 20th, 2016

 

 

 


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