Air dense with trees and pollen,
I couldn’t get a breath in.
Sent to live in an oxygen tent at age seven.
Left their autograph in my health,
And I am left with gratitude
That I can exhale chatter
And inhale what really matters.
One morning my jaw couldn’t move
Because I could not speak my truth.
Locked up, clicked when I chew,
It taught me to speak my truth with candor.
Infections next level settled in my feet,
Blisters festered where rivers and ocean meet.
My feet grew into bigger boots
Packing babies and packs over slippery routes,
And because those feet have filled bigger shoes,
Talents for balance increased with my standards.
And it’s true that in protecting my heart
My back grew askew,
Like hiding for cover could protect it from ruin.
Years of pain I now work to undo in yoga studios
But I am more nubile now than when I was new.
In my litany of complaints
I do not seek sympathy or saints,
And the meekness of my weather vane frame
Will not be in vain,
For within my weaknesses lie my strengths.