Table of |
IN THE SENIOR YOGA CLASS
We sit on chairs or stand on wobbly legs,
holding on for support,
and do the poses as best we can
while we moan and groan and wonder
how much torture we can take
until we hear, “How was it?”
and we say, “Good.”
Only the woman across from me,
her soft gaze and sweet smile unchanging,
stays silent and cannot follow instructions.
“Hands up high,” the teacher says.
She puts her hands atop her head.
“Forward stretch,” he says. She hugs herself.
“Bend.” Her arms reach out toward mine;
we shake on it.
At each misstep, the man beside her,
the husband I assume,
gently pulls her back
and guides her through the motions,
his loving touch not to be mistaken
for mere kindness.
When they leave,
she remembers to take his hand.
TEN YEARS LATER
Candle lit, I say as much
of the Hebrew prayer as I remember.
Time to choose an outfit to wear
for a friend’s retirement party.
Taking off a pair of silky pants,
too long now for my diminished height,
I add it to the growing mound
of tried-on clothes needing to be fixed.
After you left us,
a concentration on sewing
helped to mend me, but now
I see the backstitching doesn’t hold.
ALL SOULS’ DAY
Locked in a dream, I do not heed
the church bells’ call to leave this house
of dead relatives and departed lovers
where doors are marked Past, Present, Future,
all of them bolted shut. On the walls,
clocks and calendars run amok,
constantly switching places.
Unable to tell the time or reach the light,
I burrow deeper in my bed
where friendlier spirits congregate.
©Bob Heman:The Arrival (XIV) - Aug. 30, 2018
SONG OF THE RECYCLING BIN
(A takeoff on The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus)
Give me your tired, your poor,
your old and threadbare
yearning to be saved,
the wretched refuse of this
Send me plastic,
paper, metal, cloth,
I lift my lid
beside each garbage can!