To have your week planned out in meals is a wonderful comfort.
Or having just enough clean laundry to make it to Sunday.
I like watching old women shop for groceries,
studying soup cans with patience
not fear, lifting a bag of potatoes onto the conveyer belt with a giant effort.
It’s a full time job trying to keep the house clean.
It’s easier when you have a small house but even so.
I got a t-shirt with an orchestra of elephants,
their trunks were trombones or tubas and then his grandmother died.
God is a comfort to a lot of people and most everybody’s grandmother dies.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
For me comfort is
the courageousness of a small, shy tiger living in a clock.
Battling shyness is one of those battles that’s ok to lose.
There usually isn’t a whole lot of blood shed.
Bus 78 can be terrifying and you can feel forgotten and alone.
It’s nice to keep your blanket in your backpack
and when the rest of the class goes to the water fountain
you can unzip your backpack and put your hand in
and say hello I hope you can breathe alright in there.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Maybe you shouldn’t zip it shut completely before returning to your desk.
Just to be safe.
When you do simple things clean up is a breeze.
Things like wrapping a slice of cheese around a banana to make a healthy snack.
When you paint the whole inside of your house
you spend half the time arranging drop clothes
and dabbing paint drops out of the carpet with a wet rag.
People make door mats for a reason and I’m learning that I need to buy one.
At seven a.m. the west hills are freezing and still.
By noon they’re steaming with mist
and I imagine they smell like hot air pouring out of a dryer vent.
Throw me a straw so I can breathe below the surface of the pond,
so the archers will have a much harder time of hitting me,
so I can disappear and cause a good deal of suspense
when my green hat surfaces without my head,
an arrow through the brim.
I will carry a straw in my pocket just in case.
Just in case I get thrown into the washing machine like a teddy bear.
In case you don’t feel like throwing me a straw.
Show me the love of the leaving
so when Fred says heaven to a stadium of movie stars
it’s like we hear the word for the first time,
like he justifies it with sincerity
and all the movie stars are crying
or at least dabbing at their eyes.
I understand now that I was taught not to be afraid.
I was taught not to hit my brothers if I had any.
I’m pounding clay or dough
and running as fast as I go,
banging out my fear on a piano.