The cat likes nothing better
than to sit atop the kitchen cabinets
within easy reach of the ceiling.
We thought at first it was
a place of safety, less to fear
in a new home, new people.
We know better now, for she
goes to high places, cabinets
bookcases, when the meditation bell rings.,
She’ll climb down after
the ending bell rings, when we
emerge from our home Zendo, look
at us to see how our sitting went,
toss her head to indicate that she
came this close to kensho
or perhaps, she notes quickly
it was merely a brief nap, for we
cats are given to both in equal measure.
The church is about half full,
which is to be kind, a quarter
of the pews are filled, but people
are spread widely apart to give
the family, to give the priests,
just to be on the safe side
to give God, the impression
of a fuller house, although
it being a Mass of Resurrection
on a Saturday morning, the more devout
are fairly certain it will not count
toward their weekly obligation.
The recessional hymn complete, the priests
greet the parishioners with a smile
that is equal parts joy and Surprise
and the pews return to their afternoon naps.
The iguana sits in the tree and stares at me. It isn’t clear whether he is daring me to climb the tree, knowing that I like most humans well into middle age are incapable of the task, or merely showing off, appreciative of an audience. A little child walking by points to the iguana, says, “Mommy I’m tired too and want to get ready for my nap like that monster in the tree.” The iguana nods in agreement.