Over there the window
shows morning—gray sky
proves the earth has been turning.
Here nothing moves. A cat.
A child asleep. A pot of tea.
The closed cover of my writing journal.
I do the tai chi formPreparation… Beginning…
all the way toSingle Whip.
It’s all I know.
Assume the Spirit of the Crane, the instructor said,
but the shadow I cast was broken. When is a crane—?
When is unbalance flying?
I asked a man what he does for a living and
he said: I used to be a poet. Why used?
Because I am no longer writing.
I am a poet not writing.Days of not
writing turn into weeks, months,
until the taste ofpoet
is a wet pill on my tongue,writer
a remarkable piece of clothing I wouldn’t
even know where to buy.
My child hits her head and sick
soaks my non-writing hands that hold her to my body.
Her breath is small cranes flying.
When is a poet—?
I slice onions, comb the cat, teach a child
to erase words without ripping.
My hands cup water to my baby’s head.
In the window—gray sky. Tomorrow
I will start again from nothing.