Repeats Itself
Before being advised, in yoga class, not to judge,
We judged plenty. Our bodies, their bodies, our thoughts 
And everyone else’s. One day my yoga instructor said
I made a bad warrior but a good tree. And that stuck. 
Now, in our pandemic’s online slow-flow practice,
When we’re told to meet ourselves right where we are,
I think it’s unlikely I’ll meet myself anywhere else.
For these reasons, I don’t join clubs, and didn’t, as a child, 
Take up with a band or cultivate hobbies, other than
A brief pursuit of paper tole at ten. With mother dead
And father demented, there’s no one to consult
About this period now, nor a shred of evidence left,
But benefit of hindsight leads me to believe I was drawn
To making, of a flat paper image, something multi-
Dimensional. Tole is the sculptural version of a craft
Italians once called l’arte del povero, for the inexpensive way
It creates inlaid effects on furniture, mimicking the desirable
Lacquered designs of the Chinese. Renamed decoupage
In France, from the verb meaning “to cut,” 
Marie Antoinette and her court were said to be mad for it, 
Blades flashing happily for hours at the kingdom’s                      
Watteaus, Fragonards and other treasures readily at hand           
Because they’d been judged pleasing to look upon
And were, in those days, more plentiful than paper.
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