The Struggle

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Sun and Spider Web
Ed Schipul

The frailty of life
skidded by me today,
a reminder.

Death's sticky note
pasted on your forehead
a "to-do" note
that you undid.

And later, watching you
I was reminded of mom
and how she struggled
to breathe in.
And just for a moment,
as you had had trouble breathing,
I saw the same flare of fear
bright and strong,
it's hold like 
an eclipse of the sun.

I held your hand
as the nurse
eased your breath
back into your body
and tried
not to let you see the fear
blooming inside me.

Later, as I left for the day
to return to the sun-
to my life,
I breathed in the air
tasting of trees,
and kissed the dew
of morning
as it stole into my shoes
from the wet grass.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013


  1. Audrey that is beautiful hopeful and etched with sorrow
    again beautiful

  2. Gosh..made me feel that I gotta move matter what!

    Beautiful message via this spider.

  3. Oh, Audrey. This is so full of love and fear, and did I say love? I also need to use the word again and say I love this. You tightened my throat with this one, and at the same time made me smile with the post-it note.

    1. Thank you Susan! This was my brother's surgery this past week

  4. wow..this got to me..all the memories of my mom dying in hospice...heartbreak. A moving poem filled with fear and love. Beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I think I felt both of those emotions this week!

  5. This brought back such sad memories for me as well. You do this to me through your poetry so often ... send me back to places in my memory and the feelings rush back as if I were there again.
    Beautiful piece!

  6. The 'sticky note' is a stroke of brilliance. I got chills as I felt the gripping fear myself. Loved your ending so much as well.

  7. Such a tender, emotional piece. It reminded me of the love and fear I felt when my father was losing his battle with cancer.

  8. Oh, Audrey, this is so very touching. It sounds like a difficult time. Being afraid but not letting the other person feel the fear. So hard. It sounds like this is someone close to you, and it is good that you are there to hold the hand.

    1. This was my brother--and he is doing well--but the surgery was difficult

  9. a "to-do" note
    that you undid...ha ...i like the do undid plays well together...

    as amusing as i found that...the pushing of the breath back in and holding the hand really pinged my heart...

    i am glad your brother is doing well...

  10. A powerful message, Audrey. I love the artwork on this site and of course your poetry leaves me with thoughts that need to be attended to.

  11. Your poem gave me shivers, Audrey. So much emotion and talk about life and breath - your words make me want to seize the moment xx

  12. Beautiful and poignant. It sounds like this is truly from the heart and that your words come from hard-won experience. My heart goes out to you. Hugs!

  13. Your poem reminds me of how precious life is. It rings true of the fear of loosing a loved one. Each breath the elixir of life.

  14. Oh this made me tear up. Incredibly bitter sweet.

  15. The scenes flowed smoothly in your words ... well done !!!

  16. Hope and fear all entertwined, hope prevails...


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