April is National Poetry Month, and to mark the occasion we'll be sharing some of our favourite poems from collections we've published over the years. Today's poem is "Oxygen" by Tanja Bartel from the collection Everyone at This Party.
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by Tanja Bartel
On the edge of a great loss and a great green field, I see a swayback
horse leaning against the wind. Backdrop, a blue-blue mountain.
Shiny sugar snow up on top. I’m alive in the sun. I’m walking into
pain, beside my river.
The horse leans into the wind. Smog pours from its nostrils. Gases
of stalled traffic. Trying to get to the last hospital on the last day.
Trampled hyacinths dared bloom again. A great loss is coming. I
know it. The horse — his back hurts but he’s breathing. I measure
my life by the breaths of my child.