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He Couldn’t Breathe

He couldn't breathe

And neither could I

holding my breath while watching him struggle for his

The carpet was worn in the spot near the ottoman

The place he would lay with a stack of pillows

Positioning his chest in just the right way

To relieve pressure and allow a breath

It was every day

For years and years

So normal that it became annoying

I resented the worn spot on the carpet

Caring more about a rug than the man who was fighting for his life with each breath

If I could go back I would have more empathy

I would slow my pace to his

Let him nap without interruption

Not slam the door on the way out

Because I was angry he wasn't coming too

What was it like to struggle to breathe?

For his organs to be so overloaded with fluid that he couldn't function

With no reprieve

For years upon year

while we forgot that he was sick

And thought he was just slow

The day came when he took his last breath

He was placed in a grave instead of his spot on the floor

And now the carpet looks normal

But he is gone

And I wish I could have him back

Worn carpet and all

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