Serving maid

Lay down these bright words—each letter
a lamp that shines on all the others,
each word a polished stone.

Clip back the flowering hosta stalks
the day lilies all round the house,
going gone to seed.

Pull weeds, renew the edges
of all the flower beds.
See yourself as serving maid

of this sky-roofed rooming house
in which you share a space
with every living being. 

Let each small task be one stone polishing
another, that speaks, as these letters do,
a kind of talismanic prayer.


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