This is my morning ritual, taught to me by the elders—women I met on holy ground. Turning to the east, I place a poem on my tongue, as though it were a communion wafer. Like the wafer melting in a faithful person’s mouth, I know the poem on my tongue will die if I do not sing it aloud, whether anybody hears it or not. So I sing: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Five times I sing the ancient words. And after the fifth time I laugh, for things all round me have joined the song: chickadees and caterpillars; butterflies and blacksnakes; mosquitos, mergansers, and marigolds. Everything with breath is praising the Lord. And the song is glorious.
the old stone Buddha’s broad lap
now holds an ocean.
More The Whirligig #268
More Writers’ Pantry #22 at Poets and Storytellers United
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, Yuma, Arizona
Languid autumn afternoon—
does she know a loss is coming,
a loss so devastating
that longing to die will consume her days?
After it happens,
there will be no going back.
He hinted at this, the angel,
who told her she was exceptional
If only she could see the outline
of some small joy beyond what she will suffer,
then she could bear what is to come