The Screen

They…the ubiquitous ‘they’…say to 

wake and sleep and go through the

day with my mind like a white screen

that life can be clearly projected on.

Is that even possible?

On waking, dream images continue

to drift in and out—last night, it was

the satin dress I was required to wear

in my role of counselor/realtor to a 

woman with an aviary.  It was filled 

with what she insisted were doves,

though they were striped and dotted 

in every extravagant color.

Then come thoughts of breakfast.

    NO!  NO!

Say blessings first! Give thanks!

I give thanks for the thought of

a soft-boiled egg, a creamy yellow

center, a dab of butter and strong

black coffee.  But the dog comes

first.  He does his yoga stretches

and wags happily as I reattach

his green collar that jingles.  He

is one proud Chihuahua…a dog

of strong preferences and a sense

of protectiveness.  Later at the park, 

he growls, snaps at the Great Dane

who tries to befriend him.

And so it goes all day long:  breathe in 

and banish the movies of what to do 

after the park:  grocery shop, write the

holiday letter, pine to travel to 

the sea.  Notice long gray moss 

hanging in the live oaks.  Notice

the reflections in Shoal Creek 

and the presence of fall colors 

on the winter solstice. Breathe

in the golden light and note to 

self:  how lucky, how lovely to 

breathe deeply when so many 

around us struggle.  How lovely

to see the giant tree invite me to

climb, recline on her long

stretching limbs.  

And for a moment, that moment,

the screen is not a screen but 

only blue sky

with a blue heron 


flapping away into her



—Beverly Voss

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