(My little Advent practice, looking for tenderness in a hard-edged world, alert for signs of the coming of the Child of Peace, the Son of Light, the Broken Christ...)
BLOOD PRESSURE (12/3/14)
This is something the nurse does twenty times a day,
But this is just one arm, one heart, and it's mine.
Slowly she pumps and carefully she listens,
To what? Rising, falling, beating, my heart?
Does my blood beat any differently, some strange cadence now?
She watches numbers on a black dial, over my head.
She's careful, knowing that the heart bears many gifts,
And each of us worries for the flow, the steady flow.
I wonder how many times I've sat in this chair,
And how many more.
I hope to be patient in my work, as she is.
I hope to move slowly across other paths,
Always aware of their hearts, their anxious ways.
I hope to be as careful there as I can be.
There is decency in compassion, honor in kindness,
And grace in doing the necessary thing well.
Like the nurse today, taking my blood pressure.