I was waiting to make a left, to get out
of traffic. She was across from me, in a
red hatchback, waiting to enter. The cars
whizzed by like hornets. Our eyes met briefly
and the whole journey was suddenly evident:
always going somewhere, always unsure how
to get there, waiting for the chance to join,
to lead, to follow, relieved to make our way,
till we miss our exit and wonder, “Where to
now?” The speed of the traffic made our cars
shimmy. We caught each other’s eye again,
missing our chance. She shrugged. I laughed.
The moment of pause had opened a different
dimension that made us impervious to the pull
of the hive, at least for a while. Then, in a flash,
she was sucked into the whir. Someone behind
me began honking. I couldn’t move. I wanted
out. Once home, I had a glass of water on the
deck, where the peony, weighed down with
all its beauty, was drinking from the birdbath.
I thought, “Oh, teach me how to stop.”
A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, talk about your experience of trying to lead and trying to follow.
Last month, Sounds True published a major collection of my poetry, The Way Under the Way, which contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. These poems span my life’s journey and they center on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. The above poem is from the book.
*photo credit: unsplash.com