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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 4

"A Burning Sword"

written by

Ann Chiappetta

I am at a conference.

“find another person you don’t know,”

“draw a picture of your favorite animal and write down three good words about them,”

The room quiets,

The video plays

The chasm of blindness opens

I hurtle toward the fire.

Just one helpful person

in that room at that time

Would have made a difference.

Smothered the embers.

The next day at the conference,

My hand raises, unnoticed

Humiliation slaps it down

Ignites the banked coals

I am not with people

I am with beings who feed the fire.

Later the same day

Laughter at a cartoon feeds the pyre

The burn weighs down my hand and I

Don’t ask for a description.

Instead I imagine being A crusading

Knight Accusing them all


them all Passing judgement

I am rage contained, waiting to unleash my wraith against the

Ignorance, the fuel

Stoking the furnace

Burn, burn, burn

I wished for a sword of flame

A suit of armor

A crusader’s Righteousness

I would not have stood, hand raised

Asking for help

If it wasn’t needed.

I meant nothing

No one noticed

Until I disappeared.

The flames hide the pain.

Ann Chiappetta is a celebrated Author, poet, and consultant. During the past 20 years, her stories and articles have been featured in both hard copy and electronic journals and magazines such as Breath and Shadow and Dialogue Magazine. Ann’s award-winning poems have been printed in numerous small press poetry reviews including The Avocet, Poesis, the Pangolin Review and Magnets and Ladders. she contributes regularly to     special interest newsletters. Ann’s poetry has been featured on podcasts and other audio presentations, to listen go to Ann’s four books are available in all book selling platforms.

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