lenten journal: off ramp


    In the shadow of the chapel steeple
    we’ve simmered and sautéed all evening,
    following the familiar patterns we know,
    trying a few new things, marking time by
    making dinners, passing plates, and,
    finally, taking out the trash.

    This morning, time was moved along
    by turning pages, the clicking of keyboards,
    and restroom requests; the tools of the
    trade are stored in backpacks and we
    made our day without thinking of
    how long to braise the lamb.

    A twenty-mile asphalt artery took me
    from one world to the other, time travel
    in a matter of minutes, punctuated by
    a uniform change and a cup of coffee.
    Neither knows much of the other;
    I am a sliver in this Venn diagram.

    My flight on the freeway puts me past
    eighteen exits, or so, each one an off ramp
    to another layer of life, another place
    just like the kitchen and the classroom
    where someone is telling time and
    inhabiting the world they know.

    It makes me want to exit early, stop
    and ask, “What’s cooking?”



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