the therapist says to the Buddha ten minutes
into her first session. She sighs, tentatively
massaging the sides of the stress ball she has been given.
Is it that obvious? she asks, even if she knows
the answer. She thought she was doing a pretty good job
sitting still, holding her fears and anxieties in her mind
without judging, without undue attachment, without blame
(well, ok, trying). It is so difficult for the heart
to be in more than one place at any given time, more
if you are a mother: every hurt hurts, every flutter
ravages the surface on which the days must progress
with their sometimes terrible banality, with their small
and therefore acute reprieves of joy. Meanwhile, the hours
spread like a cowl, like the shadow of a cobra sitting
just a handspan away, its breath the breath of the eternal
that all these years passed mistakenly as merely a nagging
voice: parent hovering in the doorway of the impatient
child, gardener bent over a tray of new seeds; bird
nudging the fledgling closer to the end of the branch.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.