Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature
By Ann Chiappetta
Fear catches my
heart like Fleece on thorns
Delicate wisps of hope helplessly snagged
Upon Sharpened, wicked little prongs of fate.
I want to pluck the tufts, rescue
Them from the brambles
Ask the fragrant meadow breeze to deflect the pain, the sorrow.
Like the faithful companion,
I want to Plead to the Shepard not to allow
The Cancer predator
To claim its prey.
I listen and watch
As the wooly grazers flow and rub
Parting with their fleece, oblivious
To the waiting spikes
Bordering the pasture.
Malignant yellow eyes lurk behind the thorny cover
Wating to strike.
I tremble with trepidation, fear
Quivering along my flanks.
I witness the loss
And see the one devoid of floss and know
This is the Ewe
the Mother, the one caught and denuded and
being cunningly culled by the predator.
My whine is heard, yet
The Shepard bids me to stay.
I am overcome with frustration and crouch, miserably at his feet.
Snout between paws, I hear him speak,
“The cycle that began, will soon be complete,”
I snap my jaws, twitch and claw the ground in defeat.
Wretched thing that I am, not yet the sheep.
This is Mother. This is Love. This is Patience
Lulled into parting her wool
Lured into losing her soul.
I howl and tremble
Unable to tear and rend apart
the Shadow stalking Mother.
Yet I stay
Heel beside the Shepard’s hand
Resigned, reminded of ashes and dust
One day my kin will witness the predation, howl
And curse the end.
By then, I will be the lamb and
Like Mother, return to the pasture,
as life and death has planned.
Ann began fencing non-fiction for Breath and Shadow in 2008 and now also fences poetry. She enjoys the challenge of the task and finds the experience enriching on many different levels. Of Breath and Shadow, Ann holds the ezine in the highest regard because of the unique style and quality literary examples presented in each issue.
Ann has been legally blind since 1993, losing most of her sight from retinal degeneration. Ann holds a Master’s degree in Family Therapy and works as a readjustment therapist for the Veteran’s administration.
Her poetry has appeared in small press publications including Lucidity and Midwest Poetry Review. “I write because it keeps me grounded and lets me express myself. Creativity is what helps me stay focused and confident.”
Ann lives in New York State’s lower Hudson valley region with her husband, daughter and an assortment of furred critters, including a black Labrador, a yellow Labrador, and rescue dog. There is also the tuxedo cat,Titan, who allows Ann and her family to be part of his life. Visit Ann’s blog: www.thought-wheel.com/