Breath

Silent under water,
above, legs rotoring.
Twenty-five yards with no breath.
Up for air, I hear
voices ricochet off the slick tiles.
Missing the silence
I dive back down.

A lover’s technique
breath
breath

Flat on my back on the ice,
I fight for breath.
On my feet again, I glide off and leave
the terror of breathlessness
at the place where I fell.
Snow fills the spot.

Morphine slows
breath

I watch my children sleep.
My youngest snorts noisily,
kicks out, reassures.
My oldest huddles head under blanket,
her form rising and falling.

Across the kitchen
my new third daughter,
a neglected niece, is
deep in sleep.

A tiny stream of air
dilates her nostril.

I will be there
when she falls again
from the pain of waking
where her mother is not.

Childbirth
howl no breath
air in
howl again

A December morning,
my mother’s last breath,
the sun not yet up.

I find her with her mouth and one eye
open. I close the eye,
but not the jaw, hard
and stubbornly agape.

She is warm
where the nurses folded her hands.

I watch her body under thin sheets,
swear I see movement.

Is the last air she breathed
still in this room?
In my own lungs?

My siblings will arrive soon
and we will go wake our father,
but these moments
with her still warm body
comfort.

The work of breathing is done, for her.
All I have to do is wait. Breathe.

breath

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About aliceinbloggingland

I am starting a blog in order to establish a regular writing habit, with readers. Enjoy!
This entry was posted in creative nonfiction, motherhood, poetry, Uncategorized, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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