poem #23

"and breath"

the blonde girl's breath
would stop and stutter
as though with each
small flutter of her heart
(weakened by a condition
and by lost love).
i was the only one to hear
in study hall
the slightest halt,
but i could not will
to be so always near
and over time, we grew apart.
still, her breath returns to me,
reminding now and then
to better listen to my wife
and to more closely watch--
she and our small child,
they are my life.

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