Posted by: cousinbrandon | April 16, 2010

Versus: The Poetry of Cousin Brandon

I had kind of a rough day yesterday. Without getting into detail, I think I might have had a mini-panic attack last night. I woke up feeling slight pains in my chest, which is nothing new for me. Scary, really. In October (I think) I actually had my father drive me to the hospital because I was having chest pains. In fact, he did the same thing about two years ago, as I woke up around 5 AM with horrible chest pains, and had to go to the hospital for a series of tests. Good times. Turned out that, after a lot of bloodwork and runs on the treadmill, the good doctors referred me to an endocrinologist. He sent me on way with the diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. This was just over a year ago. Can’t believe it’s been that long, really.

Anyway, I wrote today’s poem a good year before my diagnosis, but not long after those 5 AM chest pains that landed me in the hospital. In fact, I’m pretty sure I wrote this during my office hours. Must have been one of those classes in which none of my students came to ask questions, which was typically the case during my first couple semesters. Thanks for reading, as always.

After Nearly Suffocating, I Find My Breath

There.
Already I begin to breathe
easier, steadily
gaining momentum
like a 16-year old
scratching out the sweet grind
of second gear to third
for the first time,
knowing the inevitable
stall is moments away
or not. Maybe
I’ll catch an open lane
of highway or coast
through an island
of Suburbia
near sunset,
when the children
and their parents
huddle round the table
in silence, slicing into
whatever meat
Mom pulled
from the freezer,
raucously gnawing
at the tough bits
so the only thing audible
is their grunting,
the occasional sips
Dad pulls from his tallboy
and the family dog
begging for scraps.

BD

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