Alive

by Jan Duncan-O’Neal
Most days we routine our lives:
coffee and newspapers, dinner with friends.
We brush teeth, make beds, take walks.

Some days we notice crocuses sticking
their purple heads out to sniff the still chill
air. Breathe deeply ourselves. Rush on.

Then lethargy enters and drags us,
unwelcome as a sick dog in August.
The chest tightness. The body aches.

We can’t breathe. The heart seizes.
A whisper away, death appears.
Only after surgery can we crawl

from the shadows into glistering light.
We see each leaf on a tree, raindrops hanging
from roof lines. We smell fresh mown grass.
Jan Duncan-O’Neal is a retired librarian and storyteller. A Pushcart Nominee, Jan is an editor for I-70 Review, and the author of a chapbook, Voices: Lost and Found,The Lives You Touch Publications, 2011. She loves cooking, going to art museums, reading and writing poetry. Her full-length collection, How to Eat a Raspberry, will be published in 2016 by Kelsay Books.


© 2015, Jan Duncan-O’Neal