Respirator [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) 

Also, Poetry Friends who have seen our Poetry Princesses/Poetry Sisters/Poetry 7 posts for many years — After more than a decade of writing together and several years of monthly assignments, we wondered if any of you might like to play along? Here’s what we propose: Once we agree to our poetic prompts and calendar, we’ll share them with you and invite you to write and share, too. We’ll remind you once a month or so (via our various social media megaphones) and you’re welcome to tag us (or not) when you post. Now, to that end, here’s what’s cooking for June, posting on the last Friday of the month: theme is susurrus, or an image of thick woods, whatever form we wish! Join us?

Now, back to this month, our Poetry Princess challenge was:  hindsight again — pick one of your old poems to revise and/or write a new poem in conversation with it…

I’m so eager to read Irene Latham’s forthcoming This Poem Is a Nest, in which she writes one long nest poem and then finds 160 found poems inside it. Wow. It looks stunning!

Anyway, I am feeling wrung out and I thought maybe a found poem might be something I could handle this week. My sister is still in ICU in Florida, on a respirator and in critical condition. As I write this post on Wednesday, she has been there for 10 days. She is unconscious, and huge medical issues/threats continue. It is so hard to think of her, so far away, in great pain in the moments she surfaces, immediately sedated again, etc.

So, I suppose I wrote this to comfort myself, imagining somehow that it please can’t be as horrible as it sounds. I took a poem I wrote years ago for another Poetry Princesses challenge, Statues in the Park. And I found a poem inside it that shows what I hope my sister’s experience is like. I chose certain lines that resonated with her specific medical struggles, though maybe they don’t make much sense as a whole. Oh, well. I imagined her having surreal and lovely dreams and then saying good-bye to them and coming back to the conscious world. Like I said, a comfort for me more than any semblance of reality.

Here’s that initial poem that I found this one in.

Statues in the Park

I’m looking forward to seeing what my Poetry Sisters have come up with–right along with you guys!




Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Mary Lee Hahn, giant-hearted teacher, poet, and human, is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. Please visit!




17 Responses

  1. My thoughts are with you and your sister, Laura. Your poem may be comforting you, but I like to think the spirit with which it was written (found) is comforting your sister too. Sending you and yours positive, healing vibes. 🙂

  2. Oh, Laura. Your poem/prayer for your sister is heart-breakingly tender, and powerful. May it be true, on as many levels as possible for your sister right now, and may healing come.

  3. Dear Laura, I am sorry about your sister. And hope your poem re-do does bring you comfort. That “sigh, start back, Never leave” is my wish for her, too. You have that gift for poem endings, first one a plaintive call, the longer poem, imagining a statue’s thoughts of visitors, both wonderful. Best wishes for your sister and thanks for the Poetry Sisters’ new challenge.

  4. The poem starts if on a hike, turns into a whimsical dream, and moves on. I think it captures regular sleep, not to mention medically enforced sleep, perfectly. I’m sorry to hear that your sister is still sleeping, but I’m so grateful there’s a bed and care for her. I’m keeping you — and her — in my heart and in my prayers. ♥

  5. Oh, Laura. I didn’t know about nest poems although I may instantly be obsessed by them. And this particular one is a thing of beauty. I am sending waves of love toward you and your sister… xoxoox

  6. Laura, your sister’s situation is heartbreaking. I wish the best for her and for your whole family.

  7. Your poem is a beautiful wish for your sister. I’m wishing the same for her. Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family. If there is any way I can help, please let me know. xo

  8. I hope these words continue to give you peace. Sending prayers for you and your family.

  9. Laura, your poem is beautiful. I am glad you are able to poem in such a torrid time. Hugs to you and your whole family from the other side of the world.

  10. I am so sorry about your sister, Laura. I’m glad you were able to find comfort through your writing. I love the image of dancing “under the swirl of the Milky Way.” Sending hugs to you and healing wishes to your sister.

  11. I hope, too, that your sister is dancing under the swirl of the Milky Way, Laura. Thinking and visualizing positive thoughts can only help.

  12. I hope your Milky Way finds its way into your sister’s thoughts and brings her some calm, comfort, and healing, as this poem has for you Laura. Sending hugs and hopeful thoughts to you and your sister, xo.

  13. What a beautiful way to allow yourself some respite from the worry. I hope also that sister’s condition improves, and that you can find some comfort. Thanks for this poetry example… very helpful to me.

  14. I can understand the hope that you must have everyday for your sister. Your poem expresses that and in however way poetry and love can, I know it helps.

  15. I hope that writing can bring you some comfort for your sister and for your city. I love the idea of finding a poem in a poem. Thanks for the invitation from the Poetry Sisters.

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