Labored Breath

The following is part of the 2019 May Poetry Feature at C4SS. 

Something caught within your throat this morning,
As I listened in,
Some roughness at the ragged end,
Trying to begin.

And as we try another day,
I hear the wheeze increase,
I hear the fear and pain and grief,
Like instruments at play.

And it makes a kind of music,
This symphony of grit,
And it grounds me in my body,
Re-rooted where I sit.

In that breath, I hear the struggle,
I hear our longing to be free,
But it doesn’t make me worry,
And it doesn’t make me sad.

No, as closer in I snuggle,
I try to find that pain in me,
Because it’s this that drives me forward,
It helps me get to “mad.”

It’s the sound of our oppression,
But it also shows we’re here,
And when it catches — but continues!
I know we’ll get to there.

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