I’m participating in Sharon Salzberg’s 28-Day Real Happiness Meditation Challenge again this year, and my plan for this blog series is to write a poem or reflection on each day’s practice. You can find all the responses on the landing page.

A Day In Which An Electrical Panel Explodes at Hannaford

Always, the minor upheavals 
that aren’t diagnosis or death, 
simply earth overturned and traps tripped, 
slaps and cruelties, discomforts and inflictions, 
a striking return to light, return to youth, return 
to the night before, sleep; 
the piercing barb of someone else’s lifelong bitterness; 
an embryonic wish aborted without breath, 
icy air snagging it, dragging it away. 

Even the shower tile, same as always, 
colours of a scrubbed sea, but today 
protruding, abrading, glacial shoreline of cut-glass
gleaming; and as morning continues, 
dreams glide along, casting 
their ashy damp stain, 
their shifting broken trail, bidding me 
slip along, uneasy but beguiled, 
then, shivering through the air, music that unlocks 
dark treasure, craftily fuses toppled decades 
and offers them like a courtesy, a donation 
to this ever fragmenting day. 

Later, a misunderstanding and an argument I wasn’t having, 
resentment, exasperation, giving up, 
again; and at noon, unfallen,
I make the weekly grocery trip, 
almost finished when we’re uncommonly interrupted, 
an explosion like an overlooked bombshell, 
an arc flash, slash of energy and rising flame, very near, 
very bright and clamourous, 
and, though jolted and watchful,
after a moment’s imbalance, after
a lifetime’s acquaintance with these small  
shocks, I resume scanning my items
like a survivor.

© MMW 9 Feb 2023

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