By Susan Blackwell Ramsey
Featured Art: Untitled by Joseph Taylor
Sock drawer with its moth husks, limp mismatches,
____rank refrigerator’s stink of shame, closet
________whose back wall I don’t remember . . .
In Sanskrit abhyasa means practice, discipline,
____not giving up, but starting over
________and over and over again. Just start. Abhyasa.
So when I unroll my yoga mat
____and it promptly rolls back up, I flip it over,
________fling myself down on it, grunt “abhyasa.”
Veteran of fresh starts. I’ve trained myself
____to believe there will be dustless bookshelves,
________push-ups, French refresher courses, kale.
This time will be different. It always is.
____Maybe the trick is shorter and shorter gaps
________between the restarts until they run together,
like rolling out the lawn mower in May,
____working to get a cough, another, three, and with a roar
________it starts again. Once more that green smell rises.
Susan Blackwell Ramsey’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and she has received a MacDowell fellowship. Her book, A Mind Like This, won the Prairie Schooner Poetry Book Prize and was published by the University of Nebraska Press. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Originally appeared in NOR 29