“Panic Attack”

The sudden shrinking of space.
Sweating palms are a failing grip.
The heart punches an unrelenting wall.
Dying as you live.
Oxygen is the supreme truth.
The spirit speaks in a cascade of despair “It’s over.”
Bright scenes mock and bright voices screech.
Death beckons an early visit.
I suffer.

Yet even birds fly in an enclosed space.
If you love anything, you sweat.
The heart only speeds towards a place to rest.
Real living is stronger than a deathly fleeting.
Why do you breathe anyway?
Faith is a stubborn child “No, I won’t!”
The brightness within has yet to diminish.
Death has enough company.
I prevail.


“The Haircut”

I advised her against the haircut.

“You won’t be the same again,” I warned.

“I do with my hair what I want,” she replied,

“No matter what you or anyone else thinks.”


Oh to Christ would I wish she could see the love

and the affection I had in my solemnity!

For I’ve loved her since she was born,

her hair notwithstanding,

how it curls like a baby’s hooked arm on a blanket,

smooth and clean like a child’s washed head,

or how blonde it glows, just as my own daughter’s did,

all through her years.


She had the haircut not long ago, in a private place.

Her long strands have shortened. Neat, but a little abrupt.

I pray to God her years won’t be so.

She told me how the ugly scissors clipped away

at the hooked curls high above the blanket,

rough and dirty hands pulling at her head.

It’s still blonde but slightly darkened,

like a winter sun during a funeral.

Afterwards, the barber discarded the waste.


She seems happy with it, overall,

though her smiles are only half-full,

her glances darting at the corners of her eyes,

as if she worries what others think.

And the eyes have shadows too.

My motherly, muffled heart beats.

Oh to Christ if I could just take her in my arms

and cuddle her to sleep.