Come Sit Beside Me, Please


Come Sit Beside Me, Please

We all need a call to wake up
To attend to right now, right here
With a quorum of the senses reporting for duty
To cast their vote, for slow

Not like we need food and shelter and all the things in Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs
But, like we need poets and psalmists and prophets and spring
And two thin slices of white bread, to be soft enough to hold a thumbprint soft
So that when thick cut bologna bound with red wrapper and Dukes mayonnaise conjoin to Be pressed forward on the roof of one’s mouth, it’ll stick, (serving its white bread pre-Destined purpose of being bookends for meat) later requiring manual unsticking
And requiring two Diet Cokes to wash down the chips that served as a side in lieu of fresh Fruit at the deli counter  at the Harris Teeter which serves Boar’s Head beef bologna and The best salt and vinegar chips anywhere served politely by the shy but friendly silver Haired lady with the hair net that she wears with pride because she cares to follow the Rules and she cares too

Like we need a young man on a plane to remind us that twenty two year old adventurers
Have not had time to grow old and cold and jaded like the sad stooped man in 19B
Who doesn’t remember what time zone he is in or what his anniversary is or was before She left him for someone who remembered every year with a Hallmark card and a night Out on the town in her church dress and hose

But rather like we need rust on tin to prove there was a time of new and green
And how we live for low tide to find the rare left-handed conch brought in by the Preceding high tide, deliverer of treasures needing a hand to carry them home

And like we need a toe headed toddler who pats the sofa
With his sausage fat fingers and a nose that needs Kleenex
A diaper that weighs heavy with the need for changing
A pat, pat, pat
Slow as a metronome slow on the far left setting
And says “Read me ‘Good Night Moon’ again”
And only you know,
But don’t care that it’s the 23rd time, since Christmas
As he adds, “come sit beside me, please”

And you do.







Slow, Slower, Slowest

It may have started in nursery school with that game.

Do you remember the one when the music stopped playing you took a seat and if you

were slow you were out.

You had nowhere to sit.

It may have started with races and racing on the playground.

The fast were picked, the slow left out.

It may not matter where it began because it seeped deep into our every fiber.

And it is.

We race, hurry, scurry, fly by, rush, whirling dervish our way down through our days.

And we miss out on the small.

I hear a collective cry and sigh these days.

From women and moms and wives and mothers.

A cry of the heart.

To rest from the weary of the rush.

A cry of the soul to slow the pace.

And a cry of the eyes of the heart to see it all, record and mark.

Save and savor, this life, these days.

And I seek to find a way to slow.

And it looks a lot like poetry to me.

The fewer the simpler the spaces for breathing.

The shorter.

A place for the eyes and mind to meander down line, weaving along slowly

The words, the life, the road.

I long to be more the tortoise in the story now.

I was the hare, it sounds like harried to me now.

And missing the chair in child’s game seems sweet

Sitting cross-legged on the floor down low,

Slowly I embrace that too.

And of all the slow I now know

Makes us winners

almost every time

Slow to speak and quick to listen, love

 guard the tongue

Slowly slowly this I know,

Release the tongue, the words, the thought

Slowly slowly this I know.

Row row row your boat gently, merrily, slowly,

See the child’s play in the day

With eyes wide open

slow, slower, slowest.

See you at the finish line

Last one there wins.

Today is Day 13 in the series. I am joining others at The Nester. To read the collective click here or go to the page link entitled 31 Days on my home page.

Writing in community with Sandra Heska King

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