in the aisle

the day is wind’s breath, howling
in my face,
pale dots of paint
like spilled stars
on both arms,

the floor is small,
nurses pouring in and out of doors
that have seen better days,
varnish flaking off

i stand in the corner,
waiting
“they’re changing bandages,
be patient please a few more minutes”
“sure”

the trees bend like drunk sailors
heavily to this and that side
dance wild
to a music that is only in my head

i was alone last night,
woke early with a headache
&went running before breakfast,
let the wind having his way
hard against my chest,

an old couple in the aisle,
her bag on his arm
a bunch of flowers, the same shade as her cheeks,
“have a good day”
i smile
&lean into the wall

they shrink out of sight
until reduced to dotty shades
against the elevator signal
flaShiNg//
green//red
to the rhythm of the day

that i inhale
with lungs as big as sailboats

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27 responses to “in the aisle

  1. what better way to get through the day than to breathe in its rhythm…no matter where you are or what you are going through…alone or together…the trees like drunk sailors…ha….i can see that….nice visual…

  2. You’ve described a place and set the scene for life to take center stage with your central character breathing in unruly wind, filling his lungs enough to keep afloat in life.

  3. A poem that has almost an ominous quality what with the hospital but very strong visuals throughout–the in-and-out brings in that send of disconnect at a hospital. Hope all is okay. k.

  4. I hope everything is ok, Claudia. One might think you went running and something happened to you. Hopefully if you can write, things are not too bad.

  5. What a brilliant way to describe the way a hospital feels.. It has a way of getting under your skin no matter what’s the reason for being there.. The image of the lungs as big as sailboats sounds good though..

  6. Vivid description of waiting, Claudia. Sometimes things take awhile, even when they are scheduled to happen at a particular time, it seems. And oh those dancing trees. We have had enough of them here lately as well…enough for a whole ballet troupe. Those elevator signals can really be hypnotic as they keep the rhythm of the day. Smiles.

  7. This made me worry. Having spent most of my career in health care settings, I’m so aware of how the waiting, the worry, intensify our observation of the environment. The way you’ve chosen the wind as a recurrent metaphor, the leaning into it, seems to have a role of its own in creating fear. Perhaps this is all the product of my imagination. I hope so.

  8. So many wonderful lines, Claudia. I can see the scene through your eyes so clearly. Love “paint like spilled stars”….the trees “dancing wild”….the old couple……and the lungs “like sailboats”. Wow!

  9. Love the smooth flow, some impatience of waiting, the drunk trees images, ‘dance wild to a music that is only in my head’ ~ this is really makes the central poll in your poem….and headache, sleeping alone – nothing if you have this music ..your own!

  10. “let the wind having his way
    hard against my chest,”

    (Have his way?) Such an intimate personification mid poem–and the couple shrinking out of sight made me hope that nothing more than breeze happened on the bike ride to land the speaker in the corner of an hospital hallway while her eyesight fades and headache grows. Those busy waiting rooms and busy nurses have a whirlwind quality of their own.

  11. too many amazing lines and phrases to quote! i am always caught up in your writing, claudia ~ the rhythm, the imagery, the LIFE that you infuse into your words! i’m glad you were just picking up a friend, nothing serious i hope.

  12. First off, glad you were not in hospital for yourself or family. Whew! Then I get lost in all the vivid images… I love the stars on your arms, the old couple and he holds her purse. Lovely!

  13. There is a breathless energy with your words starting with:
    the day is wind’s breath, howling
    in my face,

    Hope all is well ~ Have a good weekend ~

  14. Until I saw your comment above, I was worried. Glad it’s not you at the hospital and that you’re observing and writing the mysteries of the day. And doing so in a beautiful way. Take care and hope your headache’s gone.

  15. I’m worried about your well-being. Hope all is OK. Loved the way you made me, as a reader, part of the scenery. Funny that I was out running just a few hours ago. 🙂

    Greetings from London.

  16. Claudia, I have missed reading your wonderful words. Love letting the wind have its way, and how you wove the wind blowing through the poem. Paint like stars on your arms was also brilliant. 🙂