Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Spring 2010
Volume 7, Number 2



Spring Harvest


By Akua Lezli Hope



The Mennonite boys came

with a mother, this time. Her gold

disk earrings molten in cold spring.

Dusk hovering long enough

to gather spent milkweed.

Frank, who will study in Utah

gets it and gathers fistfuls of fluff

quizzes me about seeds

and cooking, while the  brothers

dark and light, thick and thin

tug spent stalks from rain-softened ground

filling my bags. The mother

gave herself another chore

and cleaned my yard of errant trash.

After thanks and thanks, I sat

in the graying glow, pulling

seeds from silk, happily finding

glistening, unopened strands

in overwintered silver pods

listening to far highway's shush

and close songbirds celebrating

the coming warmth





By Akua Lezli Hope



too early the phone rings
no message is left.  sweet dreams
of walking undone


Akua Lezli Hope was struck down on November 14, 2005 at 3:04 a.m. by transverse myelitis, the very year she learned to kayak. She is trying to live with the attendant chronic pain, paralysis and  poverty.



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