This particular asana
can be challenging,
more of a dance than a pose
Adolescent crisis,
maybe superficial to me,
a sign of something
important to them

I’ll need to
stretch to reach it
And my parents, older,
less independent
I’ll need to learn
to mother them
I inhale deeply,
on finding the light
at my core—-but not the
light from the hot
fire of my star sign
Less conflagration,
more soft glow,
calming warmth

The air buzzes,
vibrating to a
hum inaudible to
my ears but felt
just above the
surface of my skin
Like DNA, I
cannot control
this, only my
responses to this
My body relaxes into the pose
I exhale

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

Part of this physician’s job involved helping her patients understand that though they could not control genetics, they could learn to respond differently. Among the tools she gave them to learn this responsiveness were the wellness tools she used in her own life, including meditation and yoga. During the pandemic, she was able to do what she had always wanted to do: become a certified yogi. She discussed the twin challenges of being a mother and being a daughter to aging parents. She noted that there was a lot of information for parents about childbirth, less information about being a mother, but information about the toll of seeing your parents become less independent as they age was almost nonexistent: “uncharted territory.” She noted that growing through these challenges, while hard, was making her a better physician for her patients.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Yvette Perry

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