If you wait until the end comes, friend—
the end of the world, I mean—
to pick up a book and read,
you will never find out
how love and lust,
though cousins, differ,
and why one is far superior to the other.
Luck may sometimes nudge you in the right direction,
toward love and not toward lust,
but how lucky can you be if you are not a reader?
Section of a mural in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México
The middle child,
feeling lost and upset,
goes for treatment
one day a week.
In the waiting room,
her older brother
chants nursery rhymes
and tells stories
in a vain attempt
to comfort her.
“Wait till you see the lunches
they serve at school next week,”
“Seven kinds of ice cream!”
But the disconsolate middle child
cares nothing for ice cream lunches.
All she wants is to rise up
out of her wheelchair
Native American Virgin and Christ Child, Mission San Antonio de Pala, Pala, California
This is not the season to rejoice.
Shame and scorn draw near to touch—
perhaps to torch—
the edges of your life.
There is no one to shield you
from unseemly words,
words tarnished by layers of grime,
words that will not mesh together now
You steer an unsteady course;
seaweed tangles your rudder.
The sane thing to do?
Abandon this enterprise
of being an unwed mother!
Nuns waiting for a bus, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México, February 2014
waiting for a bus
the lonely scent of winter
mingles with their prayers
Haiku © 2016 and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Ruby Tuesday Too
November afternoon shadows, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona
leaving friends behind
to stroll alone through shadows
and wait for the moon
Haiku and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher