The Last Breath

When I die, I will let go of a breath I have been holding for a very long time.

The base of my neck will unknot, releasing my fear of error, criticism, and failure.

My shoulders will relax, letting go of the fear for my children, for their safety, health, and happiness.

My hands will unclench as I stop clinging to my possessions, those objects of use, nostalgia or monetary value that absorbed my attention, whose loss I daily feared.

The small of my back will lengthen, unfurl, finally free of the crippling anxiety of rejection.

My brow will smooth out as the unbearable tension of a world plagued with every kind of crisis no longer belongs to me.

My jaw will loosen, dropping to let fly all the angry, sad words I held on to year after year, the stream of letters soaring harmlessly up to the stars for their amusement, to be remixed as a satire of Life on Earth.

My lips will unpurse, widen into a smile of relief as the last puff of air escapes.

For now, I keep inhaling hope and desire — the inspiration to continue to live fully with every breath I take.


Filed under Life

2 responses to “The Last Breath

  1. jtatham

    Congrats Mrs G. That’s the best poetry I’ve read all day. I think I might even try to work your poem into a lesson. Or maybe stick it up on my notice board. Your ode to anxiety rocks! Tell your other half I’ve been meaning to call him (on the phone, not, like, call him names or anything). I think your poem may have inspired me to make the effort to make contact… a JT phone home sorta vibe. Hope “hopeful” is still your defining adjective. Keep writin’, home girl.

  2. e

    Thank you kindly for your praise, sir, and I would be honored to be in your classroom, if only through a paper representation, should the occasion arise.

    I shall pass along your message!

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