Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Exhale. Not my strong point.
I—N—H—A—L—E, in in in in in in fill it to the tippy top
Now hold, all full of life, love, everything everything
Don’t. want. to. let. it. go.
Air rushes out, but quickly, quickly, so I can
FILLING (and emptying)
(and emptying)
Deep in-breaths, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 seconds
Ribs fill, diaphragm expands, then
Whoooooooosh, two seconds. It’s all gone.
The filling is slow, sweet, savored.
The exhale is rushed, impatient, greedy
For another deep inhale.
Fill me with breath, food, life, literature, answers, beauty, presence
I don’t want to let go
I don’t want to let go.

Michele Gregoire Gill is a writer of academic works and nonfiction essays and prose, a mother of two young-ish boys, a teacher, and an educational researcher. She works as a professor of educational psychology and program coordinator for the education doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Central Florida. She also serves as chairman of the board for a K-8 charter school she founded in Sanford, Florida. In her spare time, she likes to sink into prayer, watch mourning doves eat all the birdseed in the feeder, and lift heavy things. You can find her online at michelegregoiregill.com.