Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature


Is This a Poem? by Dorothy Baker

Is this a poem:
"An empty gift box, blue striped and snow flaked, sits on a table, a reminder
of your recent visit.
You came to celebrate my January birthday, bringing forsythia blossoms
coaxed from the heart of winter (not forced, for that is not your style).
I almost turned you away, feeling anything but celebratory in the throes of
my sun-starved depression.
(At the time, unexpected joy was grudgingly welcomed, and then only if it
left its boots outside on the porch to avoid tracking up the floors).
In spite of (because of?) cognitive impairment, you quoted Rumi, a second
shining gift.
We held hands and talked to the Universe, while beside us in a
of water, your third gift, a paper flower, emerged from its shell (with your
encouragement) and opened to the light."?

Dorothy Baker wrote her first poem in third grade in the N. C. mill village where she grew up. Her film reviews and a short story have appeared in Breath and Shadow, and her memoirs, essays, and short stories have won awards in Our Toxic Times, a newsletter for those with chemical sensitivities. She lives in western Massachusetts with her life partner and enjoys editing, gardening, and dancing with a local contact improv group.

Tell us what you think about this author's work or about this month's issue in general. Email: breathandshadow@gmail.com

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