Like the Wind

I guess I’m glad
I didn’t realize
when we met so long ago
that I would listen some day
to your loud struggle for

every
single
shallow
breath

while I fumble to treat and sooth you
without sure answers or enough guidance

when you huff, puff, wheeze, sneeze, and pant
I barely sleep
but when your breath quiets at night
I cannot sleep at all

you have always been a thorough, albeit impatient, teacher
touch the face, never the feet; pat the sides, never the spine

sometimes I miss my favorite sound: your happy rumble
muted now by the constant, strenuous effort of inhaling and exhaling
I have old recordings, but I can’t bear them

but you, ever clever, find new ways to be a gift
you stay by my side
with your impossible dignity
comforting my heavy heart
thank goodness it was open
long enough
to meet you and
be filled
by you and for you
your whole life
you sweet creature
my Windy darling