“3 PM Clients Must Not Be Boring” by Myra Binns Bridgforth

Myra Binns Bridgforth


The asparagus fern sits in a sun filled corner
like a sweet faced toddler plopped on a potty chair,
up turned face beaming, planning to stay put a while.
The clock clicks to the hour and even though I want

to stay put to watch the fern, I stand up to greet my
next client. Three p.m. clients must not be boring. No time
for breakfast so low blood sugar, definitely a scheduling
dilemma. She sits, sighs and begins speaking in weary tones

about her teenaged son who won’t act right and far worse,
her husband is no help. I’m wondering where she is
in this often told tale—stuck in the mud and stranded
in the ditch of her life. I have a choice to make here.

Do I sit and sun myself in my cow-mind, maybe slap my tail,
relocating flies, sway from side to side, lean down,
munch some grass and give up? Or interrupt. Try something
with me? Forget about them for just a minute. Zero in on yourself

right now, your body—what are you aware of? Where do
you feel it? Really, show me, where? Oh bless her, she looks
confused and game for it, pushes herself up, head poked
out of the ditch, mud smeared cheek, wet leaf caught in her hair,

looks down at herself and wakes up. And bless my bovine mind
who shape shifts into curious raccoon hungry for table scraps and rabidly
audacious: no trash can lid is gonna stop me. Now anything could happen.
Always my struggle is to avoid the seduction of the tennis match where

they do what they do one more time and I, mesmerized, hit it back,
one more time; accomplishing nothing. Our session ends and she
stands to go, raccoon mind hot wired into her brain, determined.
Three p.m. therapists must not be boring either.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
Tribute to Mental Health Workers

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