It's quiet time, just before lights out.
My nine-year-old, in his pajamas,
Is reading his favorite story to me.
His head is resting on my foot, and my ankle
Becomes a magical resonator of his voice box.
Up my leg, into my chest and skull,
My ribs and head are slightly vibrating
To the sound of Matilda and her psychic powers.
His head is very heavy now on my foot,
And I want to shift.
But if I do, even a millimeter,
I know that I'll lose this intense physical connection.
I close my eyes and let my son's voice fill my bones.
I hike along the ridge, breathing the green,
Marveling at the milky seed-puffs in the summer sun.
My calves feel full, tested, awake to the challenge of the hike.
My lungs intake, hold, outgo, hold: I'm getting high on walking.
After an hour, I rest
And dig a sandwich and apple out of the backpack,
Then read some Rumi and hear Beethoven in the trees.
I lay my head on the earth, merging with the hum.
(Olema, CA.: September 1991)
from Songs of Non-Enlightenment (Transformation Press, 1995)