Dumplings

On Wednesdays we sit
my foot resting against your calf
under the table
over plates of pan-fried dumplings
and a steaming bowl of soup

And I want to say how much
I need this
the gentle thing finding its way
between us
as we laugh
and tell our stories
of love's disappointment
the children we are raising
and a future so uncertain
I cannot name it

For J

I had a friend in college
you know the one:
smart, funny
handsome, kind
never breaking my heart
but never filling it, either

Thirty years on and half a world away
we talk of children, politics
spouses now and past
I exhale knowing that he, though dear
was not the one who got away

My Right Mind

If it was my job to write
would I sit stone-still, staring
at the screen, the page
the blank wall
for hours
paralyzed
remembering years of days filled entirely with
inconsequential things
messages requiring responses
calls to return
lists of items to be crossed off
Because now feels so full
and my right mind knows
I am the one who has made it so