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Asthma

by Glauke


I can still remember
the muzzle on my face pumping chemical fog
that tasted like cool plastic,
sweet sterile relief.

Bronchodilator, it was called:
and I could imagine my little air-chambers blooming like
orchids, coaxed open by that cool fog-breath
if I could just be patient.

And I was, my tiny feet dangling over the edge
of the kitchen counter, counting breaths -
so patient, like you taught me
as you brushed my golden hair, singing and soothing.

Back then, I was too young to understand:
Why can’t I breathe? Why can’t I
tell you how my breathing has always been different,
a song of my own with long-forgotten words
that whisper to me still, lung-swells
carrying me out to sea.

Even though I am no longer the sickly child,
the choking, panting child, the sweet little cared-for child;
I still lose my breath in the chaos of unfolding
and long for that soothing fog.

Even though the medicine was cold in my lungs
and the granite cold under my legs,
the memory is always warm.


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284 Reviews


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Sun Oct 31, 2021 12:55 am
silented1 wrote a review...



I can still remember
the muzzle on my face pumping chemical fog
that tasted like cool plastic,
sweet sterile relief.

Bronchodilator, it was called:
and I could imagine my little air-chambers blooming like
orchids, coaxed open by that cool fog-breathA different idea would make this more powerful
if I could just be patient. This works well to me because it reminds me of a hospital, and is very playful.

And I was, my tiny feet dangling over the edge
of the kitchen counter, counting breaths -
so patient, like you taught me
as you brushed my golden hair, singing and soothing.

Back then, I was too young to understand:
Why can’t I breathe? Why can’t I
tell you how my breathing has always been different,
a song of my own with long-forgotten words
that whisper to me still, lung-swells
carrying me out to sea.So good.

Even though I am no longer the sickly child,
the choking, panting child, the sweet little cared-for child;
I still lose my breath in the chaos of unfolding Use this as a adjective.
and long for that soothing fog.

Even though the medicine was cold in my lungs
and the granite cold under my legs,
the memory is always warm. The tone justifies this and it worked well.




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Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:52 am
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As someone who has struggled with asthma, I related to this poem, and I think you did a great job. <3




Glauke says...


Thank you, I'm glad you could relate !!



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Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:28 am
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

I really enjoyed this poem! I remember my older brother once got pneumonia and had some related breathing problems, and a lot of your images brought those memories of him with his nebulizer and foggy medicine back. Your cadence and sensory figurative language were what really built up that strength and deliberation in the poem. Really nice work!!

I think one of the strongest things about this poem was your imagery. Man oh man, those sensory appeals were top-notch. Some of my favorite parts were that line about your air chambers blooming like orchids; it held that sort of childhood imagination about how medicine worked. I remember my parents used to tell me that strawberries would clear the mucus in my throat whenever I had a cold, and I took it to mean that they would literally break through the mucus in my throat canal rather than provide me with vitamins to help reinforce my immune system. I also think those lines about the breathing being different were so profound and beautiful. The description of the breath as a song was especially beautiful, I think; it definitely made me think about how important breathing is and it served to emphasize the different perspectives you took on breath and breathing in general throughout the poem.

Another small thing I also really loved was that sort of dual meaning of "patient;" obviously you're a medical patient, but the sense of it in terms of waiting patiently as it was used in this poem was a nice tiny detail I thought you incorporated really nicely.

Overall: really nice work!! I think this poem is absolutely stellar and you should be proud. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask! I hope to read more of your poetry sometime soon; until next time!!




Glauke says...


Thank you so much omg!!



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Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:57 am
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cryptologenic wrote a review...



heya! here for a review :]

ooh god this is a really relatable one. i completely understand the sensations you're describing here. i was sat on a sink counter too, except it was in my dad's clinic :3

anyway,

and I could imagine my little air-chambers blooming like
orchids, coaxed open by that cool fog-breath

this is a really nice metaphor!

Even though I am no longer the sickly child,
the choking, panting child, the sweet little cared-for child;

i like this repetition and development.

personally, i don't enjoy repeating words like 'fog/fog-breath' in the first and second stanza and 'breaths/breathe/breathing' in the second and third stanza. the repeating of 'chemical fog' and 'soothing fog' in the first and the second last stanza feels more intentional. and leaves a greater impact in my opinion.

thanks for sharing this! for me it was really evocative of my own childhood memories :] it was strangely soothing to read haha.




Glauke says...


Thanks so much for your feedback, I'm glad you could relate to the piece :)




Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
— Leonardo da Vinci