“Dining With Thich Nhat Hahn” by Ruth Z. Deming


When I began eating my omelet
sprinkled with scallions
and melted cheddar,
hot to the tongue
and thought of my Christmas shopping
and the places I’d go

 

I asked Thich Nhat Hahn to
sit with me in the kitchen
to help me savor my food

 

In dark robes
he bowed his head
over tea I prepared,
delicately lifted the white cup
as he bowed again
meeting my eyes,
eyes that have seen much
some of it wrapped into books
or poetry or praying for peace

 

Taste returned to my tongue
the omelet and the goodness of
the hen who had given her life for me
I became one with the morning
The sun shone into my living room
I bowed my head in thanks for its
arrival that morning
Then lifted my glass of water
stared at the clear cold liquid
then drank,
it is cold and it is good to me

 

And the master across the table
smiled
pinkie lifted as
he drained the last of his jasmine tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Z. Deming has had her poetry published in literary journals including Metazen, Mad Swirl, River Poets, and Eunoia Review. A psychotherapist and mental health advocate, she runs New Directions Support Group for people and families affected by depression and bipolar disorder. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.