Categories
Memoir Poetry

Breath Counting

When sleeping with a bear
it is critical to pay attention to the breath —
his and yours.

His will tell you when it is safe
to muck about in dreams
and when it is time
to curl up and play dead.

Death
     in this case: to feign sleep
is a practiced thing

slow     deep     breath     in

slow     deep     breath     out

slow     deep     breath     in

slow     deep     breath     out

Most nights, he’ll forget his hunger
and roll over — you pray
hands clasped around your knees
making yourself small
a burr in the blanket and of far less importance
than himself and his sleep.

©2022, Jen Payne

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