The Protective Palm
I’m weary to the bone
I am weary to all of my bones, the entire
ancient, achy, rattling, skeleton-full of them.
When I stop for a minute, close my eyes, breathe
I feel the weariness–
no, that’s not it.
As I walk around and around my apartment
write emails, do zoom calls with doctors, grind coffee beans
happily cross things off my beloved to-do list
I feel my weary bones speaking
If I stop moving they whisper in my ear.
I feel my mind
I feel my mind empty, gradually.
I breathe slowly in, out, in again.
My mind empties.
If it wanders, fills up with thoughts and things
I breathe, make the acquaintance of the thoughts and things,
feel the in-breath, the out-breath, the in-breath
feel it in my weary old bones;
I watch the thoughts drift away.
my strong, shocked, warrior body
I am standing
I am still standing, still breathing,
this fucking thing won’t get in my way.
I know this.
I know this because here I am, moving through it.
I am still standing
I am held in the cupped hands
of my friends near and far, of my brother in Tallahassee.
I am held by my cat--
when she is asleep
I tuck the tip of my index finger into her paw.
she doesn’t stir,
her curved claws move slightly, grasp my fingertip softly
This is how we hold hands, my cat and I.
I am held and loved in the protective palm
of my shul, my garden, my boxing coach, my sofa.
That’s it, my weary bones whisper to me.
There you are, back in yourself
back in your body, your warrior body,
back with us.