Reading and Listening

I used to sleep in your room
Because you would wake in the middle of the night
Waking everyone up
And your brother couldn’t go back to sleep,
So I’d read the Tao in the spare bed,
Then when you stirred,
I’d grab you and put you in bed with me.

Sometimes I read the Tao to you,
Thinking you might catch a few lessons
Of how to be calm in frantic lives, r energetic when
Things went flatline, but mostly so you would stay asleep.
I probably was the one sleeping like a baby,
It seems my snoring kept you content
Because you never woke anyone else.

You’ve kind of had this Chi thing going,
An energy that I can’t explain,
One you have a hard time understanding.
It pulls you this way,
Tugs you that,
Kind of the way you’ve always yanked
On my heartstrings and played with your emotional yo-yo.

But that is you,
A full portrait of the Tao,
An energy not able to be named,
Nor understood,
But given to others with such generosity,
Often held from yourself in a difficult and stingy
Yin-yang thing that makes it all incomprehensible.

Yet you have clarity,
You know what you want,
Your standards are high,
You have a vision, and it’s all right there,
But patience is difficult when you know you’re ready
While the world says you must wait, so there is the test,
Will you wait out the troubles to find what is on the other side?

You will and I’m going to bed,
“I Wish I Was the Moon Tonight,” is playing on repeat,
You know Neko brings the sounds that wash over frayed nerves,
We share her therapeutic echo, I’ll read you some of my latest book,
Some writings by Bruce Lee where he says, “give with adversity,”
“Bend slightly and spring back stronger than before,”
“Wu-Hsin,” no-mindedness…

Follow those thoughts, my daughter,
For you will recognize their lessons
From those readings in Downingtown not so long ago…
From the way you have lived this short life of yours…
And hopefully from the love that flows from me
To you
As you continue to listen to me think in the way we always have.


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