Count Each Breath

Count Each Breath by Maria James-Thiaw 1958531030 9781958531037
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ISBN: 1958531030

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A health care system built on bias and inequity, a system of policing that snatches our sons & daughters from our arms, and a pandemic painting a target on our backs - this is 2020 through the eyes of a black woman with chronic illness.

If you've ever been dismissed, ignored, suspected, or accused by a healthcare provider, you will relate to these verses.


In this "Corona-cation"-created collection, Maria James-Thiaw delivers personal poetic reflections on chronic illness and mortality, race relations, and family history. The speaker's experiences form a colored chronicle of "Despair-ities" as fluidly surreal as Dali's melting clocks, in which she "folds up her somedays" in response to an immune system that "unpeels her like fresh fruit," yet conjures music even from suffering ("My sister's cells sickle"). Her pain-pricked body is a voodoo doll. Even a right-wing white supremacist becomes a left-handed kindred soul whose "nerves burn like crosses on each vertebra." Count Each Breath scrapes the poem-bone raw. Its verses burn with rage, against an uncertain future, an unredeemed past, and a bruised and bruising, black and blue-and white-America.

- Vernita Hall, author of Where William Walked: Poems About Philadelphia and Its People of Color

Author: Maria James-Thiaw

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 102

Publisher: Wild Ink Publishing LLC

Publication Date: 2022-09-20

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