I keep a wooden Buddha by my bed. I don't know who carefully carved the folds of his robe, the curve of his lips, the eyes soft-closed. I don’t know whose face is actually displayed. I do know the woodworker sanded the surface smoother than any life could ever be. And I know the carver is an artist: this cross-legged figure has been transformed into a small, steady flame. Sometimes its quiet calm seeps into my skin.
Copyright 2007 by Brian Dean Powers
Published in 2010 by the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
Photo by the author