Siddhartha under the Bo tree
sits, kills desire, finds
the middle way.
Yesterday, a 9-month-old
pup bit my son above the ankle,
tugged at his pants, knocked him down.
My wife, hearing his screams,
chased the dog away, held my son
as he sobbed high breaths of air.
Today my father pulled 20 pages
from a manila folder, certified delivery;
a lawsuit filed by a crippled man
because the cheesecake shop my father owns
has a two-inch concrete lip before the door.
Siddhartha saw the five daughters of Mala,
an army of demons shooting flaming arrows,
his own shadow self offering him praise;
he saw through these attacks,
knew them to be illusion,
knew the spirit to be inviolable
and compassion the only rock
on which to build belief.
And now Siddhartha sits
under the Bo tree
enlightenment, the dharma
to my father, my son,
and my holy self.
All we have to do
Lord I believe.
Help thou my unbelief.
by Paul Totah