Playing the Pauses

Playing the pauses,
the flexible give-and-take
of minuscule fluctuations in rhythm
that make music “breathe” with life
is the same cadence my heart feels
when you call my name
and I cannot respond
because I am in between a heart attack,

there is that moment within moments,
the same tempo of uncertainty
knowing you will miss me
if I respond to that other distant calling

so I do not reply to either

your call holds me in place, in the music
jazz rift of notes fluttering
Mourning doves
in the breath within breath

the air is so heavy with responsibility

Published with permission by the author.

Martin Willitts Jr. is a poet, storyteller, and visual artist working with paper. His fourth chapbook, Falling In and Out of Love, is available from Pudding House Publications (2005) and his online chapbook about peace, Farewell- the journey now begins, is available on (2006). His current publications include Pebble Lake Review, Confluence (anthology), Octavo, Rattle, MindFire Renewed, FireWeed, Hurricane Blues (anthology) and others. His paper cut-out artwork using Victorian and Chinese hua yuang styles has been on exhibit in small museums. He has won many national storytelling contests and was invited to Denmark to tell many of the Hans Christian Andersen stories.

[Poetry Break Editor Note]

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