Breathing ( poetry challenge – essential )
Breathing is pretty essential and scary when you can’t
I was a sickly child,
it hung beneath my eyes
turned the mirror grey
A bronchial battering
spun under control
by inhalers that popped
and whizzed powder down my tubes,
Violet had an ice-cream van,
our dog used to bite the tyres
it smelled of sprinkles and sherbet,
and I knew how he felt.
“They make your chest bad,
and they did every time I could.
Friends forgot my name
soup and orange segments,
watching wash days in the rain
breathing deep into my stomach
words too short to talk or be excited.
The rise and fall of a candlewick bedspread,
an aqua blue ocean to drift on.
No one seemed to notice or care
about the clumps of white dog-hair
and that I was left to play,
in a house with a habit
of nearly forty a day,