03
Dec
08

Chunky Air

I was vacuuming the kindergarten room
When the asthma attack began.
The doctor would say “mild to moderate” but then they’re not his lungs.
Maybe I should have anticipated…
I’d been coughing off and on for an hour.
But the last was in the spring of 2005
And I’d been walking fast on the side of Mount Hood.
Tonight I was just vacuuming.
You know, pushing the Kleen-Queen around the floor.
Hearing my own thoughts, at last, and an occasional wheeze.
Five minutes later, I’m leaning on a mop handle
Trying to breathe chunky air.
I don’t know what brought it back.
Maybe the difference in climate between classrooms is getting to me.
Maybe working 7½ to 8 hours with a fifteen-minute on the clock break- not a lunch- is getting to me.
(Yeah, it’s illegal. But it’s letting me pay the rent.)
Maybe it’s the stress of knowing I only have two sick days left
And, if I want that better job in two weeks,
I’d best not take them.

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1 Response to “Chunky Air”


  1. December 3, 2008 at 09:23

    What a great title, “Chunky Air.” It really captures how you must have felt trying to force air through your constricted wind pipes. How awful!

    As a recent job searcher, I understand how stressful searching for a new job can be. Hang in there, something better will come along soon. 🙂


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