The Buddha’s friend asks for her opinion

This entry is part 13 of 15 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2014


on whether she should follow her bliss,
wrench herself away from all that has made her
so unhappy through the years; leave behind empty,

meaningless days revolving from one predictable
ritual of domestic life to another— elementary
school drop-off each morning, followed by a trip
to the coffee shop for a half-caf or cortado;

then the spa, lunch, and shopping with her gym
buddies at the mall, after which each of them
will go their separate ways, backing out
of the parking garage and waving perfectly

manicured hands from the windows of their Volvos
or Land Rovers because Ohmygod I didn’t realize
how late it is and the nanny will be furious!

Back home, she usually pours a glass of wine

before taking the kids and the dog for a walk around
the block, her way of watching the clock, counting
down, wondering if her husband will be home
for dinner or if he’ll text to say Sorry, another

late night at the office to finish XYZ account,
which she knows is bullshit shorthand for Don’t
stay up I’ll be fucking my mistress in some undisclosed
downtown location.
The Buddha’s friend sobs;

she has had it, she is leaving her 20-year marriage
to explore what it means to have an affair herself,
to take up jazz and learn scat singing; to smoke weed,
volunteer with a rock band, be their groupie and travel

around the country in a bus with no fixed
destination. Her friend’s eyes are red-rimmed
from crying. The Buddha offers her a Kleenex
and a hug, knowing that perhaps this is one

of those times just listening may be the best
approach: to be there for her without judgment,
biting her tongue so she doesn’t blurt out questions
yet like What about the kids, the dog, the house?


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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