In Praise of a Pause

You have this list of tasks, right,

always coming along with you.

You think, I am trying to achieve

these goals, and then the next ones.


But that’s a book that never ends.

So let’s set down that book for a moment.

“I am just going to breathe right now.”

This is allowed, albeit difficult.


I know, I know – breathing

doesn’t pay the rent, or mortgage.

There’s no award for best oxygen inhalation.

You don’t get to brag or wear a sash.


But you are also a house, with rent.

Your body and head deserve repair.

Taking a break from I Should or I Need To

is akin to mowing your own front yard –


or letting the grass grow wild and unruly.

That’s another option too.

You can clock out for now if you want.

You can just lie in a hammock.


This list that you’re carrying around inside –

Whose handwriting is that staining the page?

Your parents? A mentor? Maybe your own

from another life, and in need of revision.


When you opt out –

When you say, it’s time for me

to recalibrate –



Think of a seed beginning to tree.

I bet to the ground

such growth is at first uncomfortable.

But then, much later: apples.

What are you looking for?