An Arduous Journey





In yoga class today one of the girls, woman, actually
we’re mostly women of a certain age inquires of the teacher
whether she should internally or externally rotate
her inner thigh.
And I think: what a degree of unprecedented freedom
is expressed in that query.
The same few women ask questions
about internal rotation or using props to alleviate compression
in the neck while upside down in a headstand.
I never ask questions. I do not like to draw attention to myself.
I am content to listen and do.
And anyway the minutiae of muscle rotation eludes me.
What I always think when these questions are posited is
the ease of a life that thinks to wonder how to direct a solitary muscle.
I do not forget that this same woman guided her mother through the arduous journey
to death from cancer. Her suffering, along with her mother’s, was exquisite.
Maybe it’s a distraction for her to conjecture about isolating a muscle
and turning it one way and then another. Maybe it’s a way to circumnavigate grief.
During these moments of muscular instruction I drift off
to the migrants in the vineyards that surround us how far away
from home they journeyed and how little freedom they have to ask any questions at all.
They take instruction and they do it.
There’s little I can do about their plight or the plight of my yoga friends
or my own potential plights other than be kind to them when I take a shortcut through the meticulous rows of wine grapes on my way to my comfortable home.


OctPoWriMo – Day 6. Prompt is freedom or life changes. Morgan suggested we count syllables like in a haiku but I opted to go another route. I write a lot of tanka and some haiku on Twitter where syllables, or at least line length, matter. Hence my desire to branch out.

Anyway…. thanks for reading!  Poetry5


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