Breathe Through It


What is it but

The wind,

Ruach, pneuma

What is it but breathing

In and out, back in

And back out again

Autonomically, thank goodness

I’d hate to have to think about it

Or blinking

Or a heartbeat

Sometimes we need a push

And then there’s oxygen

In a canister

If it doesn’t seem to work, that can

Be frightening

After a heart attack, when the EMTs

Arrive or at the hospital,

First thing it seems there’s oxygen

Pressed into the nostrils

Good thing, I’m thinking

And typically there’s nitroglycerine

(now there’s an irony in invention)

That eases the chest

And tries to split the head

Into pieces


Imitations of the spirit

All to keep us breathing

I’m thankful

Honestly, for both

The breath that keeps me going,

That takes me home


C L Couch



Photo by Alain Wong on Unsplash

Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard, Canada