Listen and Blessing the Way, 2 poems by Cindy Buchanan


When I first conceived of you I was
inside a graffiti-covered phone booth
near a rundown beach motel. I wept.

The OB’s voice on the other end
filled with static. You swam through
the phone line anyway, lodged for years

inside my heart before you sped
away. I loved you as best I could,
but leaving was what you got good at—

lured by street meds, accelerating down
tracks that imprisoned us both.
Do you ever pass abandoned booths and

wish you could make one call?
Pick up the phone. Hear
my blood pound in your veins.

empty phone booth in rain
Phone Booth San Francisco by Menlo Park Planning. CC license.

Blessing the Way

She stood stolid on the path, firm, stubborn
as my convictions. Dull gray curls escaped
her floppy hat, and she wore a drab, torn
peasant skirt, scuffed boots, an oversized draped
coat. A tattered shopping bag completed
the look and made her seem crazy, homeless
–or even too lonely—depleted,
one of those unheeded, considered less
on streets near the park. I tried to avoid
her, but she nodded toward three wild rabbits
crouched under a hedge. Her delight destroyed
my fear, bid me exorcise cruel habits,
and blessed us both as we watched reverent:
she with joy, me with new eyes, repentant.

Cindy Buchanan
Cindy Buchanan grew up in Alaska, graduated from Gonzaga University, and lives in Seattle where she attends poetry classes at Hugo House and is a member of a monthly poetry writing group. She is a runner and avid hiker with a deep interest in Buddhist philosophy and Zen meditation practice. Cindy is grateful to her monthly poetry group and the community at Hugo House for their wisdom and support.

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