Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Summer 2015

Volume 12 Issue 3



Chasing Greif

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

of rebirth.

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/

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