PAD Day 4: Downward Dog

I mis-clicked on something when I checked Poetic Asides this morning, so I spent most of the day thinking the prompt was “thankfulness” (which was the prompt for April 4 last year). Fortunately, I think there’s somewhere else I want to send that poem once I’m done writing it.

In the meantime, the actual prompt for today was “animal.” So:

Downward Dog

At yoga class, the woman to my left
radiates anxious importance
and under-applauded expertise,
proclaiming how many hours
she’s already worked that morning
and how little sleep she’s running on
and how much she’s sweated
through her other sessions at the studio.

It feels like contagion, like water
from a river soaked with pollutants.
I try to increase the distance between
her body and mine without being rude

and then I want to sink through the floor
because it’s dawned on me, This is how
I come across! Not as a glowing
whirlwind, not as a bringer of fire,
of fuel, but as someone tarred
by her own mis-juggled torches…

My face burns as I stretch. I slouch
back home to my couch, the better
to lick my self-inflicted nonsense, but my girl
shoves her snout into my lap, full
of warm, insistent pet me NOW.
I tell her she’s a menace. She slurps
at my toes and wags her tail harder.
As my fingers obediently scritch through honey fur,
I silently stammer, Lord, teach me
to turn my own insatiable clamoring
into something I myself could welcome.

The N+7 exercise Joanne mentioned in her most recent post looks like fun, so I may indulge in that once I’m done reminding myself how to sing fourths. (They’re not usually quite this troublesome, but my ending E-natural happens to be against the first sopranos’ F-sharp, and during rehearsal I was hitting everything around the damn note, but not the E itself.) And in publication news, Spider Vein Impasto is now available from Blood Pudding Press, and it includes my poems “Camouflage” and “At Persephone’s Cafe.”

4 thoughts on “PAD Day 4: Downward Dog

  1. Peg, you are totally a bringer of fire and a glowing whirlwind. (Hmm, that also sounds like a line worth “borrowing” 🙂 Even so, I love the reminder in those last three lines, always worth remembering; thank you!

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