Eating the Crow
The path beyond my garden rounds a bend
trending down it descends into a valley
where public servants serve and
health practitioners practice, and
I run the gauntlet of penalty lights
connecting me to society
like so many decompression locks.
The clock strikes the mark,
but still seeking a spot to park,
I am overdue,
which threatens to undo my resolve
because who can find time to shine
when one is five minutes behind?
Best to resign; forget the whole thing,
This wasn’t supposed to rhyme,
sloppy or otherwise.
I should quit this too,
but I didn’t quit then, and
so I won’t quit now.
I didn’t quit weeks ago,
when after staring into a void,
seeing the cosmos, but no reason
connecting me to its purpose,
nothing grounding me into
what could be construed as a place
within this chaotic nonsense,
I sought a shaman,
but only found mental health professionals
that refused to be summoned via
I was compelled to actively pick up the phone,
verbally admitting my stigma to a stranger.
I did balk at this at first.
It wasn’t quitting; it was a
three-week mental break
from this mentally
of seeking mental help.
But after picking up the phone and
admitting to the disembodied voice that
I needed someone to help me with the void,
the space between she and me and
between me and every other living thing
she scattered colored talisman on a map,
pointing me to the sacred realms nearest me.
I chose a female therapist with an
extremely therapeutic-sounding name
within five minutes of the path beyond
my garden, and so my arriving five
minutes late was actually an impressive
feat of procrastination, even for me,
and so I wanted to quit and eat the co-pay,
but I ate the crow instead, owning my tardiness.
She didn’t seem to mind, which pleased me,
proving that she was in fact
a mental health professional.
But then she wept bitterly at
the telling of my origin story,
which led me to question her
tenuous place in the universe
unmoored yet again, or still.
Against my better judgment,
I liked opening to her,
so I signed up for a second session,
which I soon cancelled,
as mandated by the laws of seeking
someone to help make sense of things,
she is only available when I’m not.
But I didn’t quit and that alone was legit.
Perhaps when I’m ready to stretch myself again,
I’ll grow more.
Perhaps seeking my personal shaman
is its own medicine.
Written for NaPoWriMo Day 8 prompt:
Let’s take a leaf from Shelley’s book, and write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur. Your poem could take the form of a spell, for example, or simply describe an event that can’t be understood literally. Feel free to incorporate crystal balls, fauns, lightning storms, or whatever seems fierce and free and strange. Poetry is like that (at least when you’ve been reading Shelley!) If you’re in search of inspiration, maybe you’ll find it in this poem by Louis Untermeyer, or this one by Kathleen Graber.
I liked this prompt.