Mantra

Temporary tattoo by Chickadee Road, chickadeeroad.com

Temporary tattoo by Chickadee Road, chickadeeroad.com

You tell yourself one hundred times a day

and you tell yourself still:

It's okay.

It's okay to try a new idea, even if it makes you squirm

like a too-tight sweater with too-short sleeves

trapping your shoulders.

It's okay to try another one.

The pillows supporting your back tell you it's okay

to spend two days a month on the sofa.

Its soft red curves remind you the world has this way

of moving itself along without your toil.

Your children can fend for themselves at dinnertime.

Their animated voices, enlivened by freedom,

remind you it's okay to let them find their own way

sometimes.

It's okay to let the sink fill with pots

and the kitchen trash stand guard one more day.

This is not impending disaster and doom,

there is no cartoon snowball growing ominous

and gaining velocity down some imaginary mountain.

This is rest. This is ease. Maybe even grace.

To let go, to close your eyelids, to wait until

your strength returns to make the trek out to Canarsie.

The calendar whispers that there are other days,

other times that will be happy homes for the tasks

on your list. And some of them are better left undone,

just so you remember you are not holding this great world

together, spinning it with your tenacity and will.

It's okay to let yourself be held, be carried a little more often

by divine winds and invisible help.

To be the recipient in equal measure as the source.