Summer 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 3/4 Poetry |

The Breathing Treatment

Luminarias light the yards,    fizzy candles snug in sand-filled bags that catch the sleet grazing the street,    the yards, dark houses everywhere Seatbelts tight, we wait out    the traffic light and the child in the backseat coughs, chokes    and gutters like the small fires flaring in the rain. The road is almost ice.    This long winter we make the trip twice a week to the hospital,    where a mask filled with medicine in the middle of the night    lets us run toward sleep again. In the pediatric wing stuffed bears    paper the walls, and even the gray machines have friendly faces.    With ampules of Intal and Ventolin the nurse fills the nebulizer    and vapor spits from the mask. It takes all three of us to hold her down.    Hugged in the straitjacket of my arms she kicks, stiffens, screaming "Almost done!"    We're almost done, signing forms, passing the ins

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Ann Townsend is the author of Dime Store Erotics and The Coronary Garden (poems) and editor of Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (with David Baker). She directs the creative writing program at Denison University and is a founding member of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

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Dime Store Erotics

By Ann Townsend

Luminarias light the yards,    fizzy candles snug in sand-filled bags that catch the sleet grazing the street,    the yards, dark houses everywhere Seatbelts tight, we wait out    the traffic light […]

House by a Green Sea

By Ann Townsend

Luminarias light the yards,    fizzy candles snug in sand-filled bags that catch the sleet grazing the street,    the yards, dark houses everywhere Seatbelts tight, we wait out    the traffic light […]

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