by Claudia Jensen Dudley, Jun 29, 2021
The two poems are from the writer's collection of poetry Grace in Midwinter.
Five minutes one Sunday morning, sitting upright
in bed, not dreaming anymore. Letting
the lives of anyone who came to mind —
a Chinese farmer, prescient father — pass through.
Knowing this time was brief.
As though an ink brush flashed over a page
and much could be known, had to be known,
in a few strokes. And these others
were living, moving, speaking, illumined,
narrowed, touched. It wasn’t just that we were part
of the same painting. We were the ink itself.
Of Toddlers and Meditation
You stay still on your cushion while she circles
the room, always moving, her blocks or soccer ball
or stuffed pink elephant in hand. Though you open your eyes
slightly when she comes close to you, just stands there.
Will she cry, pull your hair, hit your face?
No, she does none of these, she is only watching.
You stay still when she moves away again
to her drawer of toys, to the window or couch,
and even when she comes back, puts her gorilla book
in your hands, walks off to the kitchen,
replaces the book with your water bottle.
But when she puts her arms around you
and holds you a long, long time, her heart
(as she stands and you sit) just touching your own,
your stillness breaks, you arms go out
and around her, and the sun of this world
enters you, perhaps forever.