Mindful practice can break up on the smallest things. For illness, as with life, is not a concept but stuff–clouds, pebbles, thoughts, and frustrations. And some days there are so many bits and pieces that have to be put together, which for most people are processed through the machinery of habit, but for me require intention, attention, strength and help to work at all. Getting dressed in the morning, for example, is not as simple a matter as putting on one leg at a time. I can’t do it standing like most people, so I have to ask my wife for help while I push myself up using the handle’s of the wheelchair or I could get them on with the one leg at a time while lying down method which might not require as much from assistance from my wife or an aide.
And of course what kind of pants? I need a pair with a long enough rise so when I draw close to the toilet in the wheelchair there won’t be too much of a struggle. And what kind of closing-button fly out, zipper good, but I have to close the top button. There are the devices occupational therapists provide you with leaving the hospital after orthopedic surgeries: the button puller, extended shoe horns, sock pullers, grippers. In any case what takes the typical person 5 minutes, takes me three or four times as long if all goes smoothly. So some days………………
The Dropped Line
The printer dropped a line of my poem.
Where it went nobody knows, in the drawer
in the kitchen with the string, picture wire,
lobster crackers, most anything, corn holders,
matches, crumbling wine corks, detritus
of cooking, unmatched knives, tarnished forks?
In the basket with paper clips, staples, keys
to unknown doors and long sold cars? At the back
of the freezer with frost coated bags of carrots
and peas, small cups of pesto, orphan popsicles, packs
of chicken wings to be used by dates unknown,
the words we forgot for the things we were naming?
In the pantry tucked among the surfeit of boxes
of herbal teas and rolls of wraps, foils, paper, and bags?
Maybe taken by a phrase or stowed away with stanzas, erasures,
breakaway breaths? Perhaps it was enjambed?
Did it go looking for a sweetly lyric poem,
a well made sonnet, more esoteric forms?
And, I wonder, does it matter to the poem?
A few words, a simile, a metaphor missing?
If so or if not, is it the fault of the printer,
the reader, the poet, or, in fact, the poem?