She breathed deep, Jaggy at first, And at her feet a pigeon pecked at pickings While a bus shuddered close by - Its doors folded open to the street. She breathed out. Her second breath was smoother, And as people sped by Hunkered under raincoats, rain tap tapping In stereo around their ears, The walking school bus Marched hand in hand in high vis vests, And she sat with cold bus-stop-feet. She blew out an shivering ‘oh.’ Her third breath was quiet As still as the gap Between the ‘Caw’ of the rook And the flap of a pigeon’s wings. Behind her a shop bell tinkled, And the smell of baked bread Hung as heavy as coffee in the air, Warm and steady Like her out breath. She paused a while longer. Watching a line of charcoal cloud Make a bridge between two tenements blocks While a buddleia swayed left and right In an unused chimney pot.
Dedicated to Susie, from PauseandBreathe