Poem: The Couch

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There is always a space
Between the gnawing next
And the agony of memory last
Where stillness dwells.

You know this. They all teach it.
But finding it is the trick.

Waiting for the diagnosis
The biopsy
The election results
The boat sloshes on the ocean
The siren screams
The temperature pitches too high

This is why they invented distraction.
This is why people take action
This is why we fall into inaction
And get stuck on the couch.

You found a noble seat on the couch
Looking for that space but
The quiet sandwiches noise

until
The child in his fuzzy blanket
Appears at the end of your capsized meditation
Folds himself in your lap

You breathe in his soft dirty hair
Sweeter than air
The first real thing you’ve encountered all day––

The weight of him
Fresh from sleep
His body stretched on yours
The couch holding you both
Sandwiching you

You forget for a moment
That you are supposed to be afraid.

Nerissa Nields
Nov. 2, 2016

This poem was written as part of 30 Poems in November, a benefit to raise money for Center for New Americans, a Western MA organization that provides welcoming services and literacy for recent immigrants. For more information, or to sponsor me, go here

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