Saturday, April 28, 2007


by Betsy McKenzie

I have disaster in my chest:
Pompeii, slowly buried, choked
With ash and pyroclastic flows.
Hot ashy mud-sludge
Oozes down the paths.
My little bronchi, panic-stricken,
Run madly, trying to dig out the exits.
Too late: Vesuvius is smoking again!

Or is this more like Venice?
Slowly sinking, drowning in its
Beautiful watery grave.
Shore it up! Sweep out the
Cellars... Bailing like mad to
Keep our access to air.
Even after I clear the pipes,
Gasping in air with
Shuddering force:
Dodged a watery death
Just one more time.

April 28, 2007

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  • Betsy,
    I thought these images really expressed how it must feel to have an asthma attack. You must feel quite powerless, and (as with all illness, I guess) like your body has betrayed you. I haven't read ANY poetry in a long time, but I know that good poetry makes the reader FEEL something -- and this does!
    Laurie C from COS

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:59 PM, July 21, 2007  

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