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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2008 - Vol. 5, Issue 4

"Is This a Poem?"

written 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

glass 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.

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