cat·a·pult : a device in which accumulated tension is suddenly
released to hurl an object some distance, in particular.
Two times in the kitchen—hurrying like a fool.
One time on the terrace when I tripped over a stool.
Three times in the hall when I stumbled on the stair.
The wall my forehead hit each time needed no repair.
Not so my skull which needs new paradigms inside
of how to live my life by slowing down my stride.
I am scared of my subconscious—it’s refusing to be tamed.
If I do not learn its language, I’m afraid I’ll soon be maimed.
When steps and mops in pails and stools taught me not at all,
my stubborn subconscious launched me at a wall,
totalling my car—a frighteningly close call.
Bruised and sore, I hear the words the doctor said,
“Take these pills two times a day and spend five days in bed.”
Six bad falls? One totalled car? I finally do the math.
Something wants to put obstacles in my path.
It says, “Take off the running shoes. Reduce those trips to town.
Loll around a few days more in your dressing gown.
Never do more than one thing. Give each thing its time.
To think I can do all of it is simply asinine.
Why do I think that I should be continually busy?
Why go up on ladders when I know it makes me dizzy?
The less I do it seems there are more I shouldn’t do’s.
Somedays it’s an adventure just locating my shoes
and cell phone and my glasses and finally, my keys.
Then I drive to town for broccoli and come home with blue cheese.
When did it get more difficult? It seems this is all new,
and yet I wrote about those falls a year ago or two.
A catapult propels one up over the wall
and over every obstacle that could cause a fall.
Why avoid the catapult? Why think that I should be
the person I was yesterday—that one no longer me?
Ironic that the catapult instructs me to slow down,
leave prat falls to the stunt man and the circus clown.
“Put some space around the things that you think you should do.
Take some time to hear what life’s trying to tell you.
All this beauty for your eyes yet often you don’t see it.
That same beauty within you waiting for you to be it.”
Catapult is the daily prompt, but this poem certainly also works for the prompt Reprieve.