Sips of Air

By Kerry Fantelli

There you have been
All these years
Hiding many, if not most parts of you
Taking in small sips of air so that others had enough
Helium puffs
That made your voice even smaller
Slowly drifting
Filled with gases of what you believed would make others love you
All that did was float you away from yourself
The ground of your slippery infant being
Then you started to learn, to grow, and slowly you refused to move
You sat, deepened your breath
Learned that oxygen is vast, never ending
Enough for all to enjoy
You planted seeds of your life
Others came
Wanted to prune you, rearrange you
Dig you up
And you let them
Sometimes tears drowned your small green shoots
Bent them with weight of pain
yours, theirs
mixed together in a debris masked as love
When arid time came, your soil became hardened, tough
You could knock knuckles
Often asking, “Where are you?”
Always asking “who are you?”
You are a seeker, a mover, a grower
Others, well some like to stay rooted, bonsai for life
Allow dry soil to starve progress
Allow deluge of society to go beyond dampening, feeding
Drowning individuality
Who they are growing to be
Allow pesticide masks to poison their own way
You know how much light you need
How much nourishment in the form of laughter, kindness, support
will allow you to lift
A bent branch can grow higher, stronger if given a lending beam
And you, you have been giving out the reach long enough
Sit and breathe now
Deepen your sips
Until they become great gulps
Ocean waves
Tidal sprays
Crashing
Pulled by the full moon that lights your nights
Small helium disappearing acts don’t serve you
Shrinking, so small people look big does not serve you
Quieting your mind, your heart, your words will never serve you
Stand when you are ready
Rise from your breathing seat
Reach all limbs up, out
Stretch your roots so they remain limber
See who catches on to you
To the fact that you grow like spring
Bursting with life
Exploding with fresh color
Here you are!
Drawing in oxygen like you are a gift giving back
You move in patterns across the sky
Full, crescent, harvest, eclipse
A lunar guide
Light on your own path
Clarity, sharp and breathtaking
Small sips of air no more
Breathe
Show others what it looks like to believe


Kerry Fantelli is a local poet and community contributor to our blog.

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