Guest Poem: Last Breath


Poetry: Celebrating National Poetry Month.


Last Breath

The elephant stands
planted on tree trunk legs, patient.
She waits,
still, except for sweeping lashes
and running tears.
The gray mound on the ground nearby
— breaths like afterthoughts–
returns to the earth that cradles him.
I wait, too,
while you work your last breaths
and I go on


For links to poetry prompts, or if you missed out on what I’m doing for National Poetry Month, check out the first post here.


To end each post, there will be this call to share your own work. Whether it’s something that you write as soon as you finish reading this post, or it’s a poem you’ve posted or had published, place the whole poem in the comments or put a link to it. A brief description before the link will help me process comments faster, so I know they’re not spam.

Also, feel free to share links to poems or spoken word performances by other poets. I hope this month will bring a wide variety of poetry to everyone’s attention. Also, there will be posts on my author Facebook page, a link to which can be found on the right-hand side, that will include spoken word performances and links to work of other poets, which will not appear here.


  1. // Reply

    Here’s one of mine from years past

    Stagnant Water

    Why don’t you drink me?
    I won’t hurt you
    I may not be as fresh
    as I used to be
    No need to treat me
    like stagnant water
    for just like wine
    I age gracefully

    Why don’t you pour me
    I won’t stain you
    Bring me to your lips
    So tenderly
    Do you remember
    that time you spilled me?
    The way the tears
    ran down my cheeks

    Why not just taste me?
    I’m the same old flavor
    You used to like the way
    I quenched your thirst
    I may be running low,
    but I’m not empty
    There’ll always be enough
    when you want me

    1. // Reply

      Wonderful! Thank you for sharing, Russell. If I recall correctly, you’re the first one to share a poem this month, so it’s wonderful to have you stop by and share this.

  2. // Reply

    This was somewhat sad, but well written.

    1. // Reply

      I had thought about how great it would be to include a recording of each of the writers reading their poems like I do with mine. However, with everyone’s busy schedule, it didn’t seem like something that could be managed. I even thought about doing the reading for the poems, but I like the author’s cadence when they read their own work and it sometimes adds additional meaning. I didn’t want that to change with my own reading of it, so I opted not to do it. But maybe it would have been worthwhile.
      I remember listening to Sheryl reading this to our group the first time and feeling the weight of it. It was so beautiful and yet ached liked an elephant standing on your chest. I was so thrilled to discover that this was one of the poems she was allowing me to share on my site.

      1. // Reply

        Now that would’ve been something! But I am glad that you got to share this one.

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