The roof of the first house we owned was discovered
to jut over the property line, past its official limits.

It wasn’t a simple matter of revising the blueprint:
boundary issues made others aware of their limits.

The issue was settled, meaning some payment was made. Less
than a year later, an earthquake further tested our limits.

The edifice survived, the foundation intact; but other
repairs cost. We sold it to settle our debt limits.

That was a cruel year: one of calamity, of losses and deaths.
When I prayed I cried, pushed to the ends of my limits.

By some grace we survived, only to be ushered into other
predicaments. I forgot: the Fates deal out stuff, without limits.

Lately and besides, I am tired of being the first one others come to
in every crisis; I need to learn how to say I have my limits.

In a quiet room, the therapist draws one circle engulfing another:
This, she says, is what it looks like when one doesn’t set limits.

Days, weeks, months, a lifetime goes by. How can you tell when
the people and things in your life are straining your limits?

It’s lonely running loops around this track. The course is shrouded
with fog. I can’t see where I’ve come from, nor any marked limits.

Often I pause, sit on my haunches, lie prone on the ground—
pockets empty, flanks aching, heart fit to burst from its limits.

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