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Breath Debt: Poems

Breath Debt: Poems is suffused with gratitude for the airborne voices, songs, and gestures of loved ones, friends, passing strangers, and creatures of the natural world. From the soft inhalations of three little girls taking Holy communion, to the quiet exhalations of backyard grass cut with only a pair of scissors; from the buoyancy of a breathtakingly beautiful full moon hovering above Dubai, to the suppressed respiration of dancers lying flat upon a stage, the poems in Broderick's first full–length collection flow with grace and ease – some as lyrics in the form of sonnets or triolets, and others as elliptical meditations. Although finely tuned to the everyday marvels in the life of an ordinary housewife and mother, this body of work does not shy away from family difficulties and tragedies: a war veteran's fatal emphysema, a child's birth defect, and the catastrophic morning of September 11, 2001. Breath Debt: Poems offers its readers refreshingly clear, vivid scenes full of personality, as well as capacious language full of real feeling. Dip into this deeply rewarding book and return to your own original breath.

--Therese L. Broderick

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