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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 stop

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 bones

my body

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.

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