There are more ways to look
at yourself than just considering
yourself, I am told. You can be
defined by the way you treat others,
the way you behave in circumstances
beyond your dictate.
You can be defined by outlasting
your past, not prefiguring your future,
by finding a point at the center
of a therapist’s hand-drawn crucifix
and being comfortable
there: Apart from yourself
and the judgments and grievances
of the brain, at ease over coffee
with an elder, trying to learn
why a skid loader needs
the hydraulics it does,
not slope-shouldered with
the ruins of a decision—not yours—
that left you where you are today.
But enjoying the way the red finch
lands on the rail of the feeder
a few feet in front of you.
"A New Approach" by Dana Yost. Originally published in The Awakenings Review (Spring 2011). Presented here by poet submission.
Art credit: "House Finch male variant," photograph taken in Baja California Sur, Mexico, by Chris and Debbie Llewellyn.