The Kindness of the Coroner

The coroner at the inquest
was kind for reasons not
given – perhaps the lack
of a note, perhaps he knew
that the widow would be im-
poverished with a different
verdict and so accidental
death was declared, even
after the shaken witnesses
testified that the man put
his car in park, got out
and ran around the railroad
crossing arm as the train came
around the curve. This wasn’t
Superman waiting stiff-armed
to stop the train nor Batman
ready to fly over the train
nor Spiderman ready to climb
the train. This was a seven-
teen-year-old’s god — a father
who couldn’t take anymore pain
or the Scandinavian shame so
he took the blame just to be
out and the boy, knowing the
truth, sat and shook with
sorrow and sadness, which he
would recall and relive for
years in a strange way, not
completely unlike the
anamnesis of his Lord
experienced in the Supper.

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One thought on “The Kindness of the Coroner

  1. Some wounds never entirely heal … and the memory of a coroner … doing his job? And maybe a bit more, to soften the blow, for a family he didn’t know, and a young man he could see. Wonder what thoughts rolled through his head that day.

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