Wednesday, April 8, 2020

DMC: "Baby's Breath" by Fran Haley


He wakes—that sound.
That rasp.—Is it?
It is.
He traces it to the crib.
The baby. Just three months old.
Not breathing right.
Hand to her little face—no fever.
She stirs under his touch, still sleeping.
Breath ragged, rattling.
He is young.
It is his first child.
He goes back to bed.
he carries his baby with him.
Lies awake all night
with her beside him
making sure
she still breathes.
-She does.
Long after he does not.

Thank you
for all the nights
you watched over me
when asthma attacked,

© 2020 Fran Haley. All rights reserved.

Our first of three challenges from My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth by Patrice Vecchione (Seven Stories Press, 2020) is to write a poem about the place empathy has your life. Click HERE for more details.

Post your poem on our April 2020 padlet. All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, April 24th, and one lucky participant will win a copy of My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice, courtesy of the publisher.


  1. So touching, Fran. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to a parent's love.

    1. Thank you for the open invitation to write poetry on empathy and compassion, Michelle. The prompt drawn from Vecchione, "These Are the Hands," instantly brought this story-memory back. I so appreciate your words! -- Fran

  2. Sometimes we don't understand how much parents have done for us until we are parents ourselves. This is a beautiful poem of gratitude, Fran.

    1. That is so true, Linda. Thank you so much. -- Fran

  3. I got all the feels from this sweet poem.