Speaking Engagement

It does not take long
for my body to get sick -one night perhaps-
after a fight with my sister that leaves me
cold and betrayed,
shamed, too, at some elements of truth.

I remember this happened before.
It was different, of course,
working for a non-profit traveling to India, then
discovering the breaches of fidelity, decency
in the high-mountain north.

What could I do, what could I say
in front of clients who had paid their money

expecting wonderment,
expecting spiritual masters,
expecting deliverance of their souls for their contribution

to clean water for the villagers,
to education for the barefoot children?

The donations had become
half-truths, slant-rhythms, an incomplete
and I, the young idealist, who felt I could not speak
the deception

suddenly could not speak of other things either

despite Reiki,
despite hot-lemon honey,
despite inner misery.

Once you turn around, like Lot’s wife,
you stay there.