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From Oceans Away

 , December 27, 2018

Stephanie Wang Zuo


A few dozen people, pressed up against each other in the wind,

wait with craned necks, darting eyes.

I glide past behind my own wheel; my eyes

hover briefly on the empty road behind me.

Several buses must be delayed.

The chatter of the radio declares

8 to 10 inches of wet snow to shiver against.


Still, clinic is not cancelled and my heavily pregnant patients

enter one by one, round bellies with rolling undercurrents:

He moves a lot, they smile.

My last timidly asks for a bus pass.

It is dark. The air shifts with snowflakes.

At least she brought a friend today to steady her in the slush.


It does not feel like enough to pray

that the bus comes on time and so do all her transfers,

or to shudder at the cold way she is treated,

lost for words as she peers from underneath her hijab.


I am battered, squinting through a telescope lens,

oceans away, the captain of a different ship.

I fling open my sails, I get closer.

It is better perhaps to find stillness here,

to enter into experience and listen.

I throw down my anchor.


A light and weighty heaviness settles into me,

like that of a living being.

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