How to Return

Look around and orient
to the here and now.

Touch your hands
to your shoulders, massage

the knots of the tree
out and into the earth. Accept

stillness, listen to the breath
expanding in the body,

expanding in everyone’s
bodies. Notice it, the body,

rising and falling, exhuming
the worst of the past, laying

it to rest. Notice it, the past,
shifting down a notch

and accepting its place
on the worn out surface,

the backlog of your body,
but don’t let it stay there;

shake it stretch it beat it out
with your breath, with movement,

don’t lie down, don’t
take no for an answer.

Now come back to the body.
Do you feel that? A stillness,

but not stillness; vibrating
tranquility, the body’s

tempo, the thrum
of coming home.

Catherine Friesen (they/them) is a queer and non-binary writer, editor, sometimes illustrator, and all-around nature lover living on the side of a mountain. They majored in psychology and creative writing in their undergrad and are currently working through art therapy grad school. When they’re not reading or writing, they can be found baking cakes, singing to their plants, or getting lost in the woods.

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