Oxygen Tank

            for Halle

The woman across the street had cancer
            while I was pregnant
both my neighbor and the baby
            knuckle-gripped life
one growing marrow and bones the other using
            a portable oxygen tank she dragged
behind her like a child a recalcitrant child
            not finished playing at the park
the five-minute warning all but useless I breathe
            for both of us one day she’ll breathe
on her own and I won’t know what to do
            with all the leftover air

Michelle Matz’s chapbook, Atilt, was published by Finishing Line Press. She won the Mary Merritt Henry Prize for a group of poems, was a semi-finalist in the Ledge Press Manuscript Contest, and was awarded an Individual Arts Grant through the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her poems have been published in numerous journals, including Berkeley Poetry Review, Rainbow Curve, So to Speak Journal, Cider Press Review, and most recently, at SWIMM Every Day. She lives in San Francisco.

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1 Response to Oxygen Tank

  1. Eileen Patterson says:

    wonderful poem

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