When I say I can’t breathe

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When I say I can’t breathe

In the midst of a panic attack
stress and worry having taken hold
chest tightening
lungs not filling
is when I say I can’t breathe

During those moments
which seem ever increasing
when decisions on safety and life
just can’t seem to be made
is when I say I can’t breathe

Watching or reading
the decision makers ignore
the plight of so many
vulnerable and voiceless
is when I say I can’t breathe

While my son has a seizure
and my heart skips a beat
My body lacking sleep
There’s no other choice
is when I say I can’t breathe

If I allow myself to wander
through photos of old
free to be me
free to explore
is when I say I can’t breathe

When it hits me, again
3 hours a day is all my son has
in a wheelchair, not a bed
if I lift his fragile body
is when I say I can’t breathe

Staring at a silent phone,
Seeing photos of protests
I can only dream to attend,
Videos of beautiful destinations
not to be reached,
is when I say I can’t breathe

As I’m sobbing
tears uncontrolled
soul in mourning
over so much lost
is when I say I can’t breathe

When a walk can’t be simply had
When the body aches in pain
When the empty bed reminds
When an alarm wakes the weary
When silence is too fleeting
When the silence is too long
When the dreams are let go
When the work is never done
When the former self dissolves
and only a shell remains

This is when I say…I can’t breathe.

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One thought on “When I say I can’t breathe

  1. Sean

    Hi Tracy. What a powerful poem, setting out the numerous stressors bearing down on you – the day-to-day struggles and the memories of more relaxed past times. With ever good wish for you and your sons.

    Like

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