I don’t let go of pain gracefully—
Maybe the monkey-gene in me
Got tangled with a bird wing
Or the armor of a snapping turtle.
Fly or fight—
I hate being limited to only two
Exit strategies of the emotive mind.
“May you be happy, free from suffering
And the causes of suffering.”
I keep repeating that as I rake.
I don’t quite believe that dukkha is optional;
Not knowing as I do
how it feels to sit outside
And watch him glide and slide into the family
That won’t accept me.
Decisions I thought we'd made together,
but now re-weighed--
stairs still creak,
hinges still cry.
He oils it with his attention,
his sad eyes.
As I read his face,
I cling to the deeper knowing
that I am only
coughing in the dust
of necessary renovations.
I can sense the new paint colors,
the way the fresh wood window-frames
will focus the light
onto clean floors.
I’m studying insulation,
Looking for a clue in fluffy yellow
And foam that fills in all the places
Where the wind fingers inside the house.
Walls can stand for years, but oh,
They sometimes curve and crack,
And laying my hand on that imperfect surface,
How I understand.
Oh, how I understand.