On poems left in the printer

Eight years ago, I travelled to Idaho for a holiday with friends on a mountain lake. For a long time after I got home, I left this poem on my printer, so I would see it when I printed work-related items.  Finding this  when I was caught up in the get-‘er-done mode effectively conjured a snapshot of peaceful moment.  I found it again in a file the other day and sat with a happy memory, reminding myself to “enjoy this moment, kid, it’s what you’ve got.”


Pine trees raggedly perforate
the sky around the lake.
The fishing boat drifts on the gleaming water, silent
except for the splash of the little mocking Kokonos
who leap—laughing—at the Green Giant corn
niblets on the hook.

A cell phone startles – blasphemy!

We forgive the intrusion; it’s the wife
of a liver transplant patient.

“He’s doing very well,” our fishing doctor tells her.

“If my mother or brother or son had to have this surgery, I would want these same people taking care of them.”

He is clear and patient and reassuring,

“Of all the complicated surgeries, this is the most complicated, so you should expect…well, complications,” he tells her. “But we’re prepared for complications, we thrive on them.”

A bobber dips – fish on!

We mull the grace of our fragile joy,
encircled by the pine-deckled lake,
the shushing trees and chubby toddler clouds.
What lives we live—
complicated and so beautiful.

What kinds of small totems can you plant for your future self to serve as refreshing moments and reminders?