Breathing The Air

We sit together like this every week,
him and I,
and talk about it all.
It has been almost eight years now
since life fell apart for him,
a slow motion and steady

Hour by hour,
we seek to understand,
together, always together,
the needle that went in his arm,
the fall from grace,
the trust that cracked wide open
like lightening through a tree,
and never quite came back.

Who knows if we ever are
really whole again?
Or if we ever really were
whole to begin with?

There is simply the showing up,
the laying out of the pieces,
the looking at the way
a broken heart beats, until
the shame stops seeping through.
Until the light makes the shadows
a tad less less terrifying,
because we are not alone.

And then comes a day when
he comes in like any other day,
telling me stories of the trip he took
to far off places
that I will likely never go.
And what he remembers most,
he says, his voice
quiet, remembering,
is the air.
How there was something different
about the air.
It was softer somehow,
like he was  feeling and breathing
the atmosphere for the first time
in seven decades.

In his words,
I felt the air just as he did,
and closed my eyes, opened my lungs,
to feel it a little longer.

We have worked years
for this one moment,
I thought.
For him to notice and breathe
in a way that was full,
Finally alive.

I never knew until then that
this is how you rebuild a


Posted in Poetry.


  1. Your Nice poem taught me lesson. “It is never impossible & one shoul d have hope & patiebmnce to make things better as it was before in life.”

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