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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: Vital Capacity
By Emily Gibson
08/26/10


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The initial ragged gulp comes
before being fully delivered;
nose bubbling, mouth gaping,
swallowing salty brine.
Building to great gasp and cry.
clear of amnion, uncompressed,
free to breathe an invitation to life.

On automatic, one follows another,
each breath fills, refreshes, vitalizes
until cough, sneeze, wheeze, hiccup
interferes with run, climb, ride, play.
Once rested, mucus clears, muscles relax
to open fully to the ebb and flow of
a predictable steadying tidal volume,
rising and falling, faster and slower
through thousands of
sunrises and moon falls.

Until a weakening of capacity
the flow struggles to fill up again,
reaching shore and pulling back too quickly.
At times silenced, stilled, emptying completely
then a gulping swallow, sighing softly, sometimes rattling
trying to loosen the grip on the shore of life,
no longer anchored fast, drifting unmoored,
to land safely with a last gentle breath,
delivered peacefully into the hand of God.


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This article has been read 349 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 08/30/10
It took two reads to truly appreciate this beautiful piece which describes the stages of life. It was worth the second read!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/31/10
You definitely captured the cycle of life and breath in this poem. Good take on the topic.