By REBEKAH LAURENCE
21 years old
University of Waikato

You had four thousand one hundred

and seven days

with open eyes

and pink skin.

Four thousand one hundred

and seven nights

of steady breath.

For ninety-eight thousand five hundred

and sixty three hours,

your pulse played in your wrist.

Over ninety-eight thousand hours

of blood inside.

You stirred

one thousand nine hundred

and thirteen times

when she stroked your face

at dawn.

For three thousand two hundred

and ninety-five days,

you showed baby Tom

how to ride.

And for two thousand nine hundred

and seven days,

you talked him over the stile.

Three years before

the first day we met,

you began to sit behind him

as he drove.

For four hundred and seventy-six minutes

you

were a stripped canvas.

Nine hundred and eighteen seconds

of composure

before

three hundred and thirty-six hours

of dry retching.

You were

airborne

for

one thousand six hundred

and twenty seconds

before they put steel to skin.

Your heart

pumped one milligram

per ten millilitres

of propofol

for two hundred and eighty minutes.

For one hour after

plastic fed you oxygen.

And in one

moment

she decided

goodbye.

You had

four thousand one hundred and seven

days

with open eyes

and pink skin.

This poem is part of the TEARAWAY Young Poets feature for National Poetry Day.

The Common Room

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