HOPE IS A BIRD

By Lisa Huddleston

 

In prison by 18,

In the gang section,

In the hole when he got in trouble.

In the hole a lot, I think.

“Couldn’t work on my GED.

Too busy just trying to stay alive.”

Sad and wearied eyes rest on big hands.

 

Now he has a 10-year-old, a daughter,

And he wants to learn to read.

So we begin,

“This is a bird with a long tail and a round body.

‘B’ looks like a bird with a long tail and a round body.”

And it looks like hope.

 

At the end of one hour and three lessons,

We shake hands,

Mine swamped in his,

And look forward to next week.

POST VACATION WEEK: COOKING WITH GAS

By Lisa Huddleston

It’s “Hump Day” on the week after our family vacation to the beach.  Long enough to get back in the routine of life.  And although the beach was fabulous and I loved having the whole family around me, the routine ain’t so bad.

Monday was great!  I had a perfectly balanced day:  brain food, body food, soul food, and real food .  I studied for my literacy tutoring, I went to the gym, I mowed the grass, and I cooked a delicious dinner (pork chops with jammy tomatoes).

Tuesday the anxiety returned a little: I was supposed to teach my first adult literacy lesson, but my student called in sick (maybe he was just as nervous as I was).  But, I still fed myself well with a girls’ lunch at Sammy B’s and tilapia with caper-parsley sauce for dinner at home.  Two days into the week, and I was cooking along really well.

And this is Wednesday.  I awoke without a plan and have spent the vast majority of the day emptying junk out of my bathroom.  Old cosmetics.  Old deodorant sticks.  Old toothbrushes, and lotions, and hair products.  The room looks awesome.  Fresh and new.  But my feng shui is off.  I’ve gotten enough done, but I’m feeling hungry.  No brain food.  Just a bite of soul food.  No exercise (yet) and no need to cook (leftover pork chops tonight).

But the day is still young.  The treadmill or the bike?  A good book?  A chat with a friend?  If I can season my day with these tasty tidbits, my balance may return and with it my happiness at being home.  Variety is the spice of life, even when the vacation is over.  Bon appetit!

How do you balance your needs?  Do you feed all of your “stomachs” everyday?  What can you add to today to restore its flavor?