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“A Love Letter to the Marthas”

Read "A Love Letter to the Marthas", a poem about how to be still.

How much salt water has been shed
over those pots and pans,
and how many different uses
for those knives
have you dreamed of
as you worked, always fighting
the clock;

last to be seated, first to stand.
The work is never done; it grows,
consuming everything in its path
like the never-ending flow of ravenous
guests who come to your table. What a luxury
not to know what can’t be left undone,
not to know in your bones the price
of contemplation.

Oh but Martha, there is a better part
and you know it. You, too, have a right
to embrace stillness. Will the world really end
if you lay down your burdens and rest awhile?
Might not somebody else step up?
What would it feel like to join
the conversation, to be fed
instead of feeding?

You, too, were made
for higher things,
and peeling potatoes is
only one thing you can do.

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