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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2017 - Vol. 14, Issue 4

"Sweet Bones and Roses for Harmony" and "Living With Chronic Pain: Resurrection"

written by

Pat Berryhill

"Sweet Bones and Roses for Harmony"

Normally nocturnal, she
Storms the morning like Normandy
Fueled with Bojangles chicken
Biscuit sweet tea and seasoned fries
She walks into Walmart with purpose

Perusing the frames and holding up
Charcoal and watercolor skulls
She had in a zippered protective pouch
She carefully weighs her options
Against my pocketbook and smiles
As I place them in the cart

Entranced by the overburdened
Flower stand on the sidewalk and the scent Of coffee that wafts out the open door It is a Vitamin D packed day warm upon my face We walk into "Sweet Aromaz"

She trims and carefully places her work one by one Into frames and I watch her eyes measure distance As she hangs them on the wall and unconsciously smiles Before sucking down the last of a nitro coffee shot Bitter but hella caffeine packed and providing a needed punch

Her first solo art show
At the last moment we decide
To pick a small succulent to commemorate the day She names her sempervivum Steven And sings tiny-plant-songs all the way home Proclaiming this as the pinnacle of the day

"Living With Chronic Pain: Resurrection"

When the persistent
Ache woke her it was 8:27 am
On a 79 degree F Good Friday

She debated between her OxyContin
Or edible marijuana gummies
To push her through the day

She put off the seemingly simple task
                   Of rising
And going to pee and brush her teeth
As.    Long.    As.    Possible.

And Christians worldwide celebrated
And she celebrated events as small
And as big as getting dressed
And making it to the store
And home without crying

Pat Berryhill is Publisher and EIC of Wraith Infirmity Muses, a literary magazine that gives platform to those with invisible illnesses both mental and physical. She has been published in several different types of media and currently writes for AM: The Arrival Magazine in her hometown of Winston Salem, NC. She has recently become a blogger on The Mighty, and her literary publications include Change Seven and more. Berryhill is also involved in the visual arts scene through the nonprofit Arts for Arts Sake and Red Dog Gallery under the alias PATPUNKPOP. You can find her magazine, art page, and individual author page on Facebook and contact her there. 

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