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Leslie Ihde


At the rest stop on the highway
I wonder
if the others I see there are
going to the Zen Center.

The janitor with the broom
has uncommon wisdom.
A young woman
with a purse
is unhurried and calm.

The people in the cars
on the road
beside me
smile like sunshine.
There is no distance between their smiles.
and the light of the winter dawn.

Every face is familiar
while yet unknown-
Eyes telling the same story
of longing
and yet Freedom
in the twinkle
that betrays
the secret of the
Known unknown.

To each I murmur
“I have seen you many times
in this life time and others.
I have wandered in your circles and
now see you again.”

Will I meet you on the
meditation cushion
when the chant becomes quiet?
Or know you in my heart when
my heart becomes still?

Have you ever been gone
or have I only been dreaming
that you who are really me
were separate as
if we have been only objects
and not faces of the Same?

Leslie Ihde lives in upstate New York with her husband, her golden retriever and three cats. She works as a psychotherapist and as an artist, writing poetry to mark moments of insight and gratitude. She calls her practice Inner Art to describe the work of seeking insight while making art or writing creatively.