Long Haul

by Keri Withington

photos of the oximeter

fill my camera roll




               numbers and dates

scattered like dandelion seeds

               on hot summer streets

      low pulse rate in the morning

      (check when especially tired)

low oxygen rate after exercising or

after staying up too late or waking

up too early or being on my feet too

long or just after…

               the now familiar feeling

         of my lungs being squeezed or flattened

               lying on my belly for air

                       stretching out my shoulders

the exhaustion of needing more exhaustion

of making this feeling normal

Keri Withington is an educator, poet, and aspiring homesteader. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Wild Word and Dwelling Literary. She has published two chapbooks: Constellations of Freckles (Dancing Girl Press) and Beckoning from the Waves (Plan B Press). Withington lives with her husband, three children, and four fur babies in the Appalachian foothills. You can find her in Zoom classes for Pellissippi State, planting in her yard, or on FB (@KeriWithingtonWriter). Nancy Andrews is an artist living outside of Philadelphia. Self taught in photography, she has been perfecting her images for over 15 years. Her subjects include abstracts, images inspired by nature, and observations of the world around her. Along with photography, she spends her days teaching art to little ones, playing ukulele and romping with her two little pups.