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How Often I Gasp
Jeff Burt


The doctor wants to check
my resting heart rate,
the tip of the sine wave
of blood’s pressure,
how often I gasp in sleep
thinking it’s a gap
between parasympathetic
and sympathetic recognition,

but I tell him it’s because
I have dreams of wonder,
am struck by awe.
He should try it,
he could have his breath
sucked out of him.
It might make him ask
different questions.

© by Jeff Burt.
Used with the author's permission.


Jeff Burt lives on the Central Coast of California. He claims to have learned, in this last year, of never-ending energy from his grandchildren and perpetual motion opportunities from his Labrador; he is grateful for both. Learn more about Jeff at



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Wonder-ful! Strong ending.
Posted 09/09/2022 09:18 AM
Clever play on Talk to your physician about it.
Posted 09/08/2022 01:54 PM
Lori Levy:
Love the idea of gasping in wonder and awe. Congratulations, Jayne, on your book tour!
Posted 09/08/2022 12:48 PM
Joan Luther:
This sends my heart a-fluttering, just thinking about the awe in nature. Lovely poem!
Posted 09/08/2022 11:15 AM
Love this.
Posted 09/08/2022 10:59 AM
The heartbeat of this living poem makes me gasp, too.
Posted 09/08/2022 10:31 AM
Good luck on the book tour, Jayne. Just sorry I'm not going to be in Fla.
Posted 09/08/2022 09:52 AM
I love this poem!!!
Posted 09/08/2022 09:51 AM
Gasp is a curious word.
Posted 09/08/2022 09:32 AM
to have such awe-such a reminder on how to best live life!
Posted 09/08/2022 08:27 AM
Larry Schug:
A short poem that says much about life and how to live it.
Posted 09/08/2022 08:19 AM

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