Goose

He appeared in the doorway of my office.
In one hand, a seeded challah.
In the crook of his other arm, a goose.
A goose! A giant goose
he found on his way to meet me
for our Friday at noon check-in.
I was shocked but not, as they say, surprised.
“As in the Mary Oliver poem?” I asked.
You do not have to be good.

Two weeks ago during a craniosacral session,
I entered into my eight-year old body again,
quaking, crying.
The practitioner reminded me that this
was not in my head;
it was really happening.
So I called a family meeting,
my parents and sisters and I together
at the kitchen table — Buffalo, 1982.
I had several messages to convey,
but the main point I made was this:
I do not want to be the Good One.
I do not want to be good.
I do not want to spend the next thirty years
walking on my knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

Later in the day, I realized this:
I am no longer the good one, no longer
good. I am so much more–
great, even, this surprising goose
honking my heart out,
taking up the whole big blue sky,
letting the soft animal
of my body loves what it loves.

This goose, found curbside,
no matter how lonely,
no matter the changing formation
of her flock,
keeps flying, heading home,
announcing her place
in the family of things.

Read Wild Geese and previous posts inspired by it here and here.

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