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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2010 - Vol. 7, Issue 3

"A Poem of Epic Scale which I've Attempted a Dozen Times Before and Failed Miserably"

Written By

Steven Miller

The walls in there were white, just like in the films,

but so are walls in most new, apartment buildings.

I shared a room with two people far less

crazy than me and one far crazier...

"Alzheimer’s: Living with Dementia"

Written By

Patricia Oh & Others

once we thought THEY

were just wacky/crazy



forgetting everything


Written By

Rebecca Cook

“I’m in a wheelchair--I’m not brain dead.”


“I know, but what if you need help? What if something bad happens?”


“What if it does? I can handle this.”


“If you’re sure...” Uncertainty dripped from every syllable.


Written By

Linda A. Cronin

Three times a week, I come to the pool

at Childrenʼs Specialized Hospital to exercise.

Even in the middle of winter, the warm, moist air

reminds me of the humid days of summer...

"My Cane and Me"

Written By

Amy Barta

A stuffed gymnasium housed the hundreds of graduates from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. On the sides of the seated students donning navy robes and colored ribbons determined by their field of study were family members and friends. The student speaker that day in April 2007 focused her inspirational speech on a fellow graduate, me. She described how I’d overcome enormous challenges to achieve a Bachelors Degree with high honors.

"Note to Self" and "Feeling Stars"

Written By

Richard Lighthouse

stop being so invincible.

people are drawn to you

in that annoying way.

following your eyes around the room.

"On A Frozen Lake"

Written By

Madison Bridgen

The sun shone on the grey ice. It was barren of snow, unusual for early March, but the broken mirror of the surface didn’t complain. It sat like a disk in between the forested banks, and even though the centre was cracked open the surface was studded with the tin sided huts of ice fishermen.

"Quilts, Flags, and Other Wrappings"

Written By

Sergio Ortiz

I started the quilt

when the only reminder

of civility I had was a stuffed doll

whose stitches came undone

under the weight of my books.

"The Bracelet"

Written By

Geoffrey C. Porter

I took to wearing long sleeve shirts on my fourteenth birthday. Two years before, I’d received my bracelet, and the restrictions started. I was born with the sugar disease, and ever since I’ve been on insulin. The insulin doesn’t matter, for it lives in a simple little pump I wear around my bicep. I replaced the cartridges with fresh ones and keep an eye on the battery charge. I could charge it with any one of my other devices, so that didn’t bother me. What bothered me was the stinking bracelet.

"The Day I Drowned At Tin Can Beach"

Written By

Paula Apodaca

I shouldn’t be telling you this. I don’t mean it’s a secret, I just mean, I shouldn’t even be here. The summer after I turned five, I drowned in the ocean and was saved by my Uncle Don.


When I was little, summer meant bundling up towels, blankets, bottles of Sea and Ski, Noxzema, lawn chairs and telescoping forks, hot dogs, buns, mustard, relish, marshmallows, pots of chili with mushrooms, and a giant metal tin of saltines. We never owned a cooler of any kind, so the afternoon before our seasonal trip, Mama would go from house to house, neighbor to neighbor, in search of a Coleman’s cooler or a five-gallon thermos-like thing for lemonade for our trip.

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