Now, two years after spending 5 days in the ICU, and a tough recovery period, I finally had the courage to submit my work to literary journals. Knowing I didn’t have the emotional strength to handle rejections, I had to wait. This month three poems found homes—thanks to Loch Raven Journal, Beltway Poetry Journal and Passager. And thank you to my writer groups who kept me going with their love and encouragement. Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my friends everywhere!
Here’s the poem accepted by Beltway Poetry Journal.
As I lie on a gurney in the emergency room,
my mind slips into another sphere,
a quiet place with no air, no need to breathe.
The planets swirl about me ─
Jupiter and her four moons,
but it is Europa’s voice I hear first,
a spinning shell of ice
sunlight bouncing off cracks.
Around me voices fade,
leaf-green gowns pale under my eyes,
and bands of dark birds,
geese or song birds,
fly in V formations.
I hear their call.
The air off their wing tips will lift me.
I don’t have to fly.
Dusk deepens, the sky cobalt-blue,
threads of daylight weave through.
Last chance, the last flock calls,
but my last inhale
is trapped within a space
where rain drops aren’t yet snow,
water’s not yet steam,
love’s not yet eternal.
Someone asks me something,
I answer binding.
I hear someone shouting, she doesn’t know what she’s saying.
I open my eyes,
see my child at my side,
holding me down.