First breath can come as a ragged gulp
Before even being fully delivered;
Encased in warmth, moist
Tunnel swaddled tight
Nose bubbling, mouth gaping,
Swallowing soupy brine,
Hungrily building up to initial great gasp.
Air-filled sliding free
Fingers spread startled by life,
Grasping, fists reach to grip
Anything to stop the fall.
Lifetime spent holding on tight,
Fastened firm, rooted, anchored,
Rising and falling with the tide
Of thousands of
Sunrises and moonrises.
Swaying with the waves of ebbing time,
Buffeted by hard blows,
Caressed by gentle breezes
Floating in still waters,
Weakened by too many winters
Eventually upended in fractured frailty
Slowly set adrift, floating unmoored
Reaching for moorage no longer sustaining.
Breath comes ragged,
At times silenced, stilled
Then gulping, sighing softly,
Ready to loosen the grip,
No longer anchored,
And with last gentle breath,
Deliver peacefully into the hand of God.
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