Gerry McFarland

Asthma
by Gerry McFarland

1954

Following the doctor’s orders, we moved
farther from Los Angeles—escaped
the dingy smoke over the harbor, the yellow
callouses of smog, the black waste

on the gray horizon like bombs that plumed
and stained the windows, darkening the houses
fifty miles away—but hadn’t moved
far enough. The trees panicked, put out

their arms against the window, assaulted darkness
while the illness climbed the sill. Death
to me was a story I had always wanted
to hear, a question to answer. I asked again.

No, she whispered. No. She cradled me,
And rocked us both; her heart beat in my ear.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 2.

Gerry McFarlandGerry McFarland is a co-editor at Floating Bridge Press in Seattle, and teaches writing at University of Phoenix. His work has appeared in Contemporary American Voices, Crab Creek Review, Crucible, Limestone, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Sanscrit, Switched-on Gutenberg, Zyzzyva, and the anthology Detours: Poems of Travel by Land, Air, Sea, and Mind. His work has been a finalist this year in the Grayson Books, December, and The Frost Place competitions.

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