an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #01

Progress — Then Pause

i.m. Bain Carmichael

I watch my grandfather dying
like my baby being born,

the rasping gasp of his breath
against my aunt’s demonstration:
like this dad, deep in, deep out,

they would tell me when
breath turned to scream,
like this now, deep in, deep out.

Progress – then pause.
The bedside vigil hours grow.
Chips of ice, water on a sponge,
small physical talisman
offered from this side.

Days late and I walk
one foot in the gutter,
one foot on the path;
an illusion that I can make
all things come to pass.