“we are on the verge of something.” By Sasha at the table

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chödrön

Four olive pits on a plate painted with roses, a crack on one corner. Fifty three days since I’ve been home. Six green peas on the high chair tray, leftover from lunch. One tea bag in the bottom of the blue and white mug. Hundreds of ants chewing through the wood that keeps us warm and dry. Three drops of poison spread across the beam in the living room, the kitchen counter corner. One pandemic. One water bottle emptied and filled, emptied and filled. One nub of red candle. One small chipmunk on the deck railing, watching me write. Eleven seconds left on the timer. Two eyes, blinking.

“One day she made a mistake” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday, August 3, 2015
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

Groggy and mouth parched, I roll to my side and reach for Miranda. She must already be up. Her side of the bed is cool and I stretch out, star-fished, and open my eyes once and for all. She comes into the room, an oversized black T-shirt, threadbare around the collar, and paint stained jeans. She holds a glass of water. I sit. She hands it to me. She raises her eyebrows.

“You did it again,” she says, her eyes filling with tears.
“You left. You sleepwalked out the door.”
“I found you in Tony and James’ garden, pruning their roses.”
“With what?”
She reaches for my hands. They’re cut up and dotted with dried blood.
“I’m putting a hidden lock on the door. What if you get hit by a car?! What if you-”

“Parking available at the rear” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, July 7, 2014
5 minutes
from a window sign

He wears red sandals, made of leather, and his are trimmed and tidy. You wouldn’t know that he spends most of his time barefoot, in the gardens of the Raj. His robes are often muddy, caked with work, with earth, but not today. He wears loose-fitting linen pants and a long chemise. He smiles often, especially at you. You go to him. You say, “Uncle, I’m lost.” He takes your hands and he leads you to the roses. You spend hours there, fingering the petals and kissing the thorns.