Experts say that, ‘a normal person
inhales, and exhales in equal measure,
seven to eight litres of you per minute;
which translates to about
11,000 litres of you per day’.
They add that, ‘Inhaled air
contains 21 per cent oxygen,
and exhaled air contains
about 15 per cent oxygen.
The difference (6%) is absorbed
by the lungs; and if there is a shortage,
it needs to be supplemented’.
But now you are in short supply,
the whole world is in search of you;
they have even baptized you;
they now call you, “medical oxygen”;
they say that I need on average,
four medical oxygen cylinders a day
because I deplete a typical oxygen cylinder
in about four hours.
My mind is surprised that
I have been breathing this
Gods free gift of yourself
for over half a century now
without any obstruction
If I had to pay,
I wonder whether I could
have afforded you; considering that
it costs approximately
KSh3,000 to buy the cylinder,
KSh500 to refill the 11-litre cylinder and
KSh2,500 to refill the 60-litre tank.
And so my mind has to wonder;
why did I take so long
for me to recognize you as so important?
Did it require for me
to see the long lines of patients everywhere
gasping for you?
How is it that I took you for granted?
Did it require for loved ones to die
because of a shortage of oxygen,
because of no air, because they
couldn’t breathe on their own;
inspite of all the air in the atmosphere,
to trigger my mind to respect you?
It is sad that it had to take
an invisible pathogenic being
to clog the airways
as it ravaged the earth,
so that I could acknowledge your might.
Thank you God for your infinite grace;
for your free gift of air, nature, and life.
Forgive me, dear Father,
for assuming that breathing is assured,
for behaving as if I owned my breath.
those who are hoarding the oxygen;
for taking the breath of many away,
in this time of great need
for, “Air to breathe”,