I bought this shawl in India,
where we used them for everything.
I took it to the beaches on Maui,
familiar, light-weight, hippy.
In Austin I washed it and
left it on the iron half-fence
that keeps me tucked in
in my little green cabin at The Writing Barn.
In high school I had sweaters, sweatshirts and
the color of this cabin, that bush, these eyes.
And as I write, my eyes, too, see the colors —
my sleeves like long limes and a blanket
across my chest, neck and belly.
The page’s right margin,
like my sleeves mixed with a little yellow,
a little poo.
And under my left elbow and sitting on the wooden step at my side,
the shawl, this sarong,
whose smell always smells like India,
like all of my dupatas tucked away in Don’s attic
along with Hanuman carvings and candle holders and incense burners and memories and blankets of wool, fleece and fairy lights.
Sitting on this step at four in the afternoon
on a cool April overcast day,
the greens pop and I see my toe hair —
yes, my toe hair,
and how long it grows on the dry big toes
and how unkempt and wild it shows itself to the spring light.
It is meant to be quiet, without other things to do,
with a fresh pen and a new notebook.
This is _our_life! the Breeze sings, as she
wraps around my body and touches my hair
like a lover.
This shawl now comes in use,
tucking in my body from the chill,
and I see even more green on the notebook,
now that I’ve turned the page.