The Heart Murmur

by Elizabeth Crowell

When my son weighed a pound a half,
his breath lagged like a dragging step.
His heart murmured, unclosed,
and so they opened that tiny, living body up.

I thought about the size of that heart,
thumbnail, marble, thimble or paw
and of the single staple that they used to shut it,
the slender sliver of that claw.

There is a scar that starts at his heart
and wraps around his side.
It lengthens as he grows but thins as well
like a line of poetry I cannot revise.


Elizabeth Crowell‘s work has been included most recently in Bellevue Literary Review, Tishman Review, and Raven’s Edge. Her essay “War and Peace” was the 2018 Non-fiction Prize winner at Flying South. Elizabeth received her B.A. in English from Smith College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing/Poetry from Columbia University. She taught high school and college English for many years, and currently lives outside Boston with her wife and two children.

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “The Heart Murmur

  1. I like your poem. Well done

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