I learned to write poetry in fourth grade
and it was like learning to breathe.
Not as you do when you’re newly born:
gasping, clawing, screaming your bloody way into the world.
But as they teach you at your first yoga class:
Calm, deep, loud, self-conscious.
Watching your belly rise and fall with amazement at its wavelike motion
As if it hadn’t been possible all along.
But the best yoga instructor forgets to breathe through the nose sometimes
And we amateurs only remember when we are reminded.
Sometimes I’m gently reminded by the grass between my toes
that I can write.
But most of the time
The world suddenly becomes
the hospital room too foreign.
And I have the choice
to scream so loudly the doctor recalculates my Apgar score
to sink further into my pose:
reaching forward on the inhale,
grounding downward on the exhale.