Catching My Breath

He stood outside.

We’d had a fight, a bad one.
I was visiting him in New York. I’d said terrible things.

We spent that day walking, trying to find familiar ground.
Trying to make it alright
Without words.

I love New York in winter.
I love the hard cold, the snow with blue skies,
People smiling like a movie.

Our breaths swam in the freezing air
As we watched store windows getting dressed for Christmas.
He kept telling me to go and look at clothes, if I wanted to, or shoes.
Or that Bodies exhibition. Whatever I wanted.

He stood outside, not caring about the cold, waiting.

After an hour wandering the Strand’s eighteen miles of books
We went for coffee.

The place was dark. Holiday tunes chimed through tin speakers.
We sat in a corner and
The windows dripped.
The man at the next table wore cardboard shoes.

I pulled out my new book of Rumi’s poetry
With pages that smelled like America
And, right there in that downtown coffeehouse,
My brother remembered poems from

The words spilled like jewels
Spilled out over the table and into the space between us
Like a miracle.
Spilled like rubies into my outstretched fingers
Luminous with love
Lighting up the room and
Making me catch my breath.

Do Shéamus.



I once asked a bird,
“How is it that you fly in this gravity
Of darkness?”
She responded,
“Love lifts


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10 Responses to Catching My Breath

  1. Kate says:

    Álainn… aríst. Kx

  2. Peter says:


  3. Beautiful and tender…you are a writer…..I too am lifted. X

  4. Dee says:

    Aoibhinn. Just really really lovely. xx

  5. Deirdre M says:

    Oh Síle, this is wonderful. x

  6. Caitriona says:

    Again Sile – amazing !!

  7. Emily Rooney says:

    Really beautiful.

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