The Buddha calls a 1-800 number for service

and is put on hold for at least 15 minutes. She settles
into the chair and a strain of muzak plays over and over
in her ear. In order to not be completely annoyed by this,
she turns her practice of mindful attention to items
on the desk that need gentle straightening: the pull-out
keyboard drawer used for sundry papers not yet filed away
is in need of some dusting; and the books beside the plastic
pencil holder could use a bit of straightening. She reviews
their spines and is reminded that she has fallen behind
last season’s vow to do more mindful reading, to take up
where the dog ears and bookmarks indicate the last place
on the page she felt she’d stopped time for just
the briefest moment. From the window overlooking
the front walk, she can see that despite the cold,
a flock of sparrows has gathered around the still
barren elm. They look the picture of industry, of doing
for themselves because no one else will serve: bobbing
and foraging in small crevices of bark, among the gravel,
until one darts away with its small reward: tip
of an earthworm a glistening serif in weak sunlight.

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