Sunday, May 25, 2014


When grief seizes you,
it roars through, sucks up
your breath like a tornado,
spits you out gasping
on bare ground, croaking 
animal cries.

You blow your nose, strain
to recapture your troubled
inhale. Like the ring
on a merry-go-round,
you keep missing it, choking
on bitterness. Like your 
lost one, you are stalled 
between worlds, exiled 
from the flow. You can only 
wait for the wild wind
to retreat, the debris 
to settle.

At last, sinuses 
unplug, air seeps in 
and with it, smell, sound, light--
the forward press of time.
The ring lands
in your hand. You
grasp it and hold on.*

This work-in-progress comes from thinking a lot about breath over the past year since Noah snuffed out his. I think about how crying fits leave me breathless, unable to sing, smell, or even see. How I grope around in the dark trying to recover my breath. And how, by contrast, with yoga (Kundalini) or meditation, I focus on deepening and circulating the breath. If I do even a few minutes of those practices every day or two, I feel reconnected with the flow. As suicide survivors, we need to let the tears flow, yes, get it all out, whenever it hits us. But we also need to consciously cultivate the flow of the life force within us if we are to move through the pain and restore our lives.

*Note: All poetry on this blog is original work-in-progress unless attributed to others.

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