The Zen Master Speaks

I stood up and went to my wife and daughter and asked,

Did anyone ever read my poem,

Pairing Socks in the Morning Light?

It’s about a doctor of philosophy whose

carefully-cultivated skills of discernment

are unmasked in domestic tasks

of harmonization.


To which the master spoke:

When the disciple sees no difference in the sorting,

then others will see no difference in the wearing.

This is as with the pan with encrusted food.

If it doesn’t come off in the dishwasher,

it won’t come off in the meal.


Chastened, I returned to my task,

where light alit

as a bird in my nest.