Bowl by Richard Baldasty

At the front door, three monks. At the back window, four more. They have come to help us pray, help us fall to our knees, bow our heads, get it all out—what we really have on our minds. But we tell them we’re not like that, not big strugglers or puzzlers. We let each day go by, sunflowers turning to follow strongest light; at night we sleep dreamlessly in our beds or, sometimes when weather’s fine, up on the roof under the stars. For we can muster being romantic, rolling in awe. Prayerful, on the other hand, not our thing. The monks warn we’ll be sorry; someday we are going to need it or else get panic-bent quicker than stupid geese confronted by a sly fox. Threats. We laugh. We offer our uninvited guests a bowl of strawberries with milk. Pleasure, we tell them: return to the beginning. You might remember how to like it.

Richard Baldasty, poet and collagist, lives in Spokane, home of the 1909-1910 free speech riots at the center of The Cold Millions by Jess Walter.

Photo by Katherine Hood