An Asthmatic Hearing Himself Breathe

By on Jan 11, 2015 in Poetry

Rusty barn door, close up

Sometimes it sounds like
barn doors opening,
lots of ancient wood
and rusty iron
creaking and cracking.
Other times,
it’s a shrill northeasterly wind,
rattling the windows of my lungs.
Then there’s that panting
of the overheated dog,
the rapid wheeze
of an accordion playing polka.
My breath is a percussion instrument.
It’s all the woodwinds
and occasionally, the strings.
Sometimes, on the good days,
I hear nothing at all.
Ah the silence of it.
That’s a sound too.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. He was recently published in the Tau, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Examined Life Journal and Midwest Quarterly.