Poem of the Day: Carrie Oeding

by | Dec 12, 2015 | Poem of the Day Series, Reading




The meditation teacher said he wants to leave you alone with me. There should be no third party between me and “existence.”

The meditation teacher said I would soon understand the nature of the mind rather than fight with it. He winked at me then, a bit creepy. I’ll be honest, he really didn’t, but it’s my nature to say quick things to try and make it interesting. Winking is totally predictable.

My friend Jen would like to get to know you because she wants to stay in the moment.

I don’t want to get into it with her, but there could be a moment of a bright autumn tree, or a bright autumn tree that leads me to notice crows, cats, dents in my car, cars on my cat, leaves shaped like cats, the world is cruel. And then it’s not— bright autumn trees that come alive and wink. Or trees which then, suddenly, suddenly suddenly I notice then what happens next?    Looking looking         where’s the moment I’m in?         Bright autumn trees that don’t notice me

I’m not going back to class to find out how to look at a leaf or who really winked.

I got to know someone once and it led to third parties.

Dear bright autumn tree, surprise me.

Dear meditation, I’m sorry, I know I am getting you all wrong— but now you know how a person can feel and why they wouldn’t want to let that go.


—from Carrie Oeding’s Our List of Solutions, 42 Miles Press (2011)
—also previously appeared in Mid-American Review