we go back to the practice

two pancakes on a plate
oily and delicious with a hint of almond
on the butcher block
_______
savoring the lemon balm scent
on mama cat’s forehead
(a clue to places she’s been)
when i press my nose
to the fuzzy and warm softness of her
_______
put your body into the poem she says from the playground 
and, like other things she says, it is so clear and simple that it seems anyone (including myself) could arrive at this
but most (including myself) don’t

she shines the light
whose on-switch i couldn’t find

_______
a bold life with you at the center 
what if you tipped the uber discernment/heart-led risk scales bruin says
what/who do you care about
and who do you want to be in the world
and how to make this goodbye resonant
with your values
_______
thanks coach i joke
when he says something along the lines of
what do we do when we are having a hard time
with the practice? we go back to the practice

_______

the unexpected sadness
of turning down
a chance to be with family
because of coming to understand
that i’d be out of my heart and mind
navigating resort-staying
on a carribean island
(the sadness layered with the extra sad
of having said so exuberantly yes to it all earlier on
yes regarding the unknowns
of resorting out of the country over winter break thinking yes, i am committing to family this year, let’s do this
_______

what’s he doing? making smores!?
eric asks bout emory
crouching in front of a small smoking fire
under the black walnut trees in front of the whitehouse
as we approach in the red ranger
love that kid i say
while we round the bend
_______
cecil and i laugh-talk-joking
the same way we did seventeen years ago
just three miles down the road
something heartening
about homes 
that are effortless
to return to