Let Me Breathe for You
SUNY Jefferson
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Let Me Breathe for You

Margot C. Jacoby

“Your breathing has become raspy,”
were words I did not want to think, hear, say,
ever, my daughter.
You were worried, I was beyond worried.

My breathing became your breathing
for nine months and four days.
You breathed on your own
for thirty-one years, three weeks, and four days.

During your last month I tried to breathe
for you, next to you, we were in sync.
At first we had a natural rhythm until your
breaths become shorter, shallower.

As we lie in your bed, your back to me so you
can look out the window, I watch your back
heave up and down, as you breathe.
I listen to your hoarse rasp.

Please don’t stop. Let me take this from
you. The pain. The immense effort. The shadows
lengthening, darkening. Let me breathe for you, again.
Let me breathe for you.