About the Poems
by Qiana Towns
Witnessing my grandfather take his last breath in 2008 changed a number of things about me and about how I view my responsibility as a poet. It offered me a kind of purpose that I hadn’t known prior to the experience.
Mostly, I remember the silence of that Halloween day in 2008. As I waited for the ambulance with my grandparents’ long time neighbor Paw-Paw took what would be his last breath. His gut-wrenching gasp broke the silence around us while simultaneously crushing the optimism I’d held onto during the entire ordeal. There was a pause and an exhale, and it was over.
Unknowingly, I started to explore concepts like solitude, division and pause. I thought I was still writing poems about culture and motherhood and all of the parts of the human experience that were familiar to me. I only noticed the influence of the experience when I began to assemble my first manuscript.
Now I look forward to seeing how my last moments with him manifest in my writing, and what else they will lead me to…