“Mindful Loitering” by Michael Attie

Michael Attie


Park benches make the best Zendo.
Far superior to black cushions and blank walls.
This is what the heart looks like.
There are people passing through,
flocks of pigeons,
nannies with strollers,
old men sharing stories in the autumn air,
kids playing jump rope
and on their way to school,
Oak and Maple leaves raining on everyone.
I don’t know if I want to die of happiness
or sadness
or just fade away.
I look up.
Everyone is gone.
Time to move on
to the next park.
Find my heart again.

I’m the lazy poet
who needs to fall in love
in order to write anything.
It’s a crazy world—
there’s too much beauty
or not enough.
Either way,
the pain seems inescapable.

from Rattle #20, Winter2003

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