No chance Ella’s grey hair
ever can be covered with dye
nor love be found
One date after the other.
Suddenly her gums became infected
the left side of her face blown up
and then she called me
desperate to know
how to proceed
someone had gotten her
social security number
ordered a $1,300 piece of furniture
and three credit cards in her name.
Her parents in Florida begging
Ella to join them
an only child now
the son killed in a car accident at 17.
Her friend Sarah told me, “Must be something wrong
with her. A pretty woman
but men run from her. I want to help
but don’t know how.”
Ella called my sister saying how lonely
she felt, that Sunday morning, so
my sister invited her for coffee
at the bagel place.
Ella bursting into tears
saying, “Thank you, thank you.”
Six billion souls
and the Buddha’s truth hard to swallow
the years of meditation not enough
suffering in every breath
until a ton of earth
suffocates the pain.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.