P is for Poem
Yesterday's thaw and last night's chill
have left a thin skim of ice
like roots or hair running down
the sidewalk cracks.
I'm watching how I walk,
picking carefully on the way to work.
I pass a lady with a shopping cart
and a horrible wet cough,
see a wasp's nest in the branches
become a torn garbage bag,
and realize that the sun as it rises
is turning the thin ice back to water.
What a difference a degree makes,
a slight shift and winter's grip
eases. And our grip on the way things are.
I keep returning to that woman's cough,
the miseries we inflict on each other
simply becaue we don't have the strength
to stand on our own.
The small gap between fear and
compassion, and how it too is governed
by our own internal sun.
That my sun has been through a long darkness,
but that it rises again as I wake
to the wonders around me.