gina prettybrowneyes

Sometimes I Sound Like An Accordion - Poem by gina prettybrowneyes

There is no feeling quite as terrifying as not being able to breathe

You heave and choke for the oxygen that moments before
Sang sweetly down your throat;
Now catching in your closing airway
(Sea water against the walls of the city)
Always the dull ache behind your eyes, the world blurring before you

Remembering those speech therapy sessions you place one trembling hand
On the abdomen, guiding the air through your nose
(Hoping to slam open the ever-closing vocal cords)

You fight to be filled with the loose air floating around you,
you inhale
The bright hot pain of airless lungs trying to expand

There is no knowledge quite as terrifying as this:
You are the only one who can save you.

Short of tracheotomy,
No pills,
Men in white lab coats,
Or inhalers
Can make you breathe.

You are your own hero.
Sheets of breathing techniques, diagrams
Of the throat, vocal folds, diaphragm,
Lungs, rules: water, water, and more water
It’s all in knowing your limits, trusting yourself
To breathe

It’s the most terrible kind of independence.

(for more info on Vocal Cord Dysfunction visit

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Poem Edited: Monday, February 1, 2010

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