Gifting the Air, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Gifting the Air

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Everyone knows

We carry air in our bodies,

We know, and occasionally,

Sense it flowing through us,

How it enlivens us

When we focus it into our every cell.

 

And it does so without effort,

Without being invasive,

Without expecting anything

In return.

 

Today, let’s try this:

 

Let’s send out our every word

Upon, within, the air

As gifts—touch the air

With kind words, caress

The evening air with reminiscences

On front porches and strolls

Through the neighborhoods,

Fill the morning air

With prayers and Broadway tunes,

Inspire the night air with dreams

And comforting words of reassurance—knowing

We do all these things

By the power of the air.

 

We all know what happens

When it lifts from us

One last time and searches out

A newborn swallowing

Its first bubble of outside life.

Let us return the grace—

Let us gift the air with words,

And thoughts that dance

In its heart, let us gift the air

With songs that create joy

In the movements of the wind,

Let us fill our every breath

With mercy, compassion,

And a radical empathy

That unfolds across the world

Into other lands, other lungs, other hearts,

Other minds—let us gift the air

With praise.

 

 

 


 

 

All donations go to medical bills and groceries.  Thank you so much. <3



A Second Thought, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

A Second Thought

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

You have been with me

Since the beginning

Even though

I no longer remember

The first time

You filled me,

Sending me wailing

From the initial revelation.

From that moment

Until now–

I have rarely given you

A second thought.

 

You enter, touching my nose,

And lips, and then

Filter through me,

Spreading life, only to then

Disappear into my cells.

You make my chest rise and fall,

Ebb and flow, enlivening me

Over and over,

Again, and again,

Moment after moment,

Year after year,

And you do so largely

In relative silence and secret.

 

I think of you when I feel

The need to catch you,

Or hold you, or focus

On you for a guided meditation,

Or watch you ghost out

Of my mouth in winter.

 

You shimmer through me,

I know you are there,

I want you to stay,

Even though one day

You will sail out of my body

For good, onto the billowing winds,

To gently, unobtrusively,

Fill the body of another—

Another who will,

In all likelihood, hardly ever

Give you a second thought.

 

So here, now,

I think of you in as full

Consciousness as I can muster,

I feel you filling my every

Cell and vein with kindness.

Thank you for being

My friend, my guide,

My most intimate companion

On my journey

Of letting you go.

 

 


 

 

All donations go to medical bills and groceries. <3


 

 

 

 


The Gift of Seeing Our Breath

The Gift of Seeing Our Breath
By
Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I.
As a child, as summer slipped into fall,
And the first frost shrouded the grass in little, dissolvable crystals,
I would go outside first thing in the morning
And make my mouth into a wonder-filled O,
And breathe. And when I saw my breath
Spill wispy veils upwards into the air, like so many unfurling ghosts,
I rejoiced and ran in my footy pajamas back to my bed and covers,
To contemplate this most marvelous thing.

 

My friends and I walked to school back then,
And on the first day it was cold enough
To see your breath, every few steps
One of us would say: “Look! I can see my breath!”
And we would stop and we would see and we would say:
“That’s so cool!”

 

This morning I saw a little girl step from her front door,
Make her mouth into a wonder-filled O, and breathe.
I just caught the look of amazement in her eyes as I drove past.

 

 

II.
What a gift this being alive, this being able to see our breath,
This casting of feathery nets that needn’t catch anything into an invisible sea of blue,
This gentle launching of ships of clouds—
What a gift to live in amazement,
What a gift to be able, on the coldest of days,
To be reminded we are alive, we are warm in here,
We are message bearers sharing silken signals,
“This is mine,” we say, “and I share it with you.”
We are makers of clouds and shepherds of little flocks of adventurous sheep,
And not a single one of us breathes alone,
We share the breath of those we fear
And those we love, as summer slips into fall
And the world becomes shrouded in frost,
And coldness touches everything—pause,
Let us make our heart into a wonder-filled O
And breathe, letting our warmth spread defiantly into the cold.

 

And one day when we breathe our last
Our spirits will spill upwards in feathery spirals
And be carried on the shoulders of the breath
Of the living, and we will rise, our souls shaped like
Wonder-filled O’s, and we will slip into the arms of angels
Who will bear us back to a bed of softest down,
Tuck us in to rest, kiss our forehead
And whisper, “Rest now. Tomorrow is a new day and there is much to do,
And many people to fill with amazement. ”

 

 

 


 

 

 





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