Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lazy Heart

Fragonard, The Swing
On certain summer days, when
there is something in the air that weighs

it down—that enervating water-pollen mix,
perhaps—when the barometer has risen, or
it’s fallen, at the moment I’m afraid I don’t
remember which—and when the sky’s opaque
and dull, and even chatty cardinals don’t
communicate; a robin can’t be bothered to
investigate a sign of subterranean activitynearby, though it would likely yield
a meal—

and I suppose they’re healing from frenetic
spring, which, once awakened, rubbed its eyes
and surged to life, demanding that its
residents fall smartly into place, and now
they’re taking mental-health days; we should
pay attention, for they put our human pace
to shame—

on days like these my heart is lazy.
If allowed to, it would lie about and
gravitate toward yesterday, imagining
that then it didn’t have to labor so
to be engaged with people, places,
occupations. “Ah, if only now were then,”
it teases, tempting me to give it space for
wallowing, and all too soon the rest of me
would follow and I’d wish to have my lively
children back who at the time I’d hoped
would hurry and mature and move away.
It’s true there was contentment that 
eludes me now, when I have time to 
brood and notice small tears in the

I tell my heart it doesn’t need to drift in
gravity’s deceptive ease, or shiver in the
clammy air, or rid itself of insubstantial
burdens. Little effort is required to ascend
the gentle path of love. The poor heart
merely must present itself and can be
certain of success, for love has its
own energy, and does the rest.

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