Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lung Function

My father's lungs,
when it came to the end,
were a ragged glory,
a failed flag above
a defeated fortress.

Just sitting in that chair,
he breathed like a runner
running up hills,
but he could not keep up
with his inner runner.

He breathed his last
when every inner runner
in every cell in his body
collapsed and sagged at once.

A flag that can find no wind
is wrapped in a cloth, buried.

A pale, perspiring runner
sets out in the ghastly dawn
to alert overweening battalions
bristling with armaments
in the rear positions.

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