The Trouble Is
The trouble is, you think you have time,
But he was wrong.
I know I don’t have time.
Time has me
Running marathons of mindless tasks,
Day after day.
Be here now!
My phone alarm says,
But not in a Buddha way.
I race through the day
Trying to be on time,
But time is always on me,
Until the last chore on my mental checklist
Then I waste time, fill time, kill time
Until sleep takes me out of time,
But only until morning.
I know what he meant, of course.
You think you have time
To do all the things you want to have time for,
But never do.
We all dream of having time.
Or time free
Of deadlines and dreadlines,
Worry and hurry.
We don’t have time.
We can only hold it
Like a breath,
For one moment.
Then let it go.
Winter in California
Winter in California is a three-year-old girl,
Charming you with her sunny laugh.
You share pictures of her on Instagram:
“Look at my Winter!” you want to say.
“Isn’t she beautiful!
Don’t you wish she was yours?
I must be doing something right
To deserve a Winter like this.”
You go out to bask in your Winter,
Your glorious life-choices,
Your wonderful parenting.
That’s when Winter stops and howls,
Raging on the sidewalk,
Flailing, hitting, spitting,
You stand helpless,
Alone and wet.
Drowning in the humiliation
Of being caught unprepared
By this sudden tantrum.
The national news shakes its head.
“Isn’t that just like California
To have such a crazy Winter?
Those atmospheric rivers.
Those bomb cyclones.
California’s Winter is so crazy
They had to make up whole new weather names.”
Your family sends texts from places like Ohio.
“Are you okay?” they ask.
“We heard about your Winter.
Why don’t you move back East where Winters are normal?”
You struggle to explain,
“She’s not always like this.
She’s usually so well behaved.”
They shake their heads,
Grateful for their cold, predictable Winters,
Their impeccable life choices.
Your Winter takes a shuddering breath,
Stands up from the sidewalk,