Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature


A Note from My Mother by Stephanie De Haven

Your birth was the birth of an idea born squirming

and red--but silent--with hair like blood in water and brass

attitudes. My sweet child, who I pushed into this world wet and

precious--my red pearl--I know you. You will grow into a squirming

toddler, a red child, and finally, a silent adolescent. Adulthood is the

loom--empty, waiting for creation--I know. Everything is empty as your

newborn stomach. Everything blank as your sweet face. I created you-and

you, child, are blank. That is why I plunged you into the water basin

by my bed until you died.

Waiting for Word - My Mother's HeartAttack by Stephanie De Haven

A dandelion in glass,

suspended-I wait-for distended breath to scatter-to shatter-stagger

breaths in beads of shine sliding through that thick medium-choking on

fluff, on white nothing. I wait for nothing-pale death on pale

horse-puffy-faced dandelion. I wait for breath-for long, dry drags that

smell of plastic and ether-seasoned with beta-blockers-crusted with

aspirin, as antiseptic and fresh as hospital linens, and colorless

as death clock dandelion.

Stephanie De Haven lives and teaches in Lafayette, Louisiana. She attained her Master's degree in Creative Writing at the University of Texas, home of the World's Most Edible Mascot. She writes to medicate her seizures and her soul.

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