Teaching the Body
At five a.m.,
the sun has not yet risen, but we have.
We stand facing the mirror,
hands clasped under chins. A dozen pairs of elbows
float upward like sails, reaching
as we try to relax.
We understand how to work hard.
It is the softness that eludes us,
the recognition that dead body pose
is a pose, the knowledge that rest
Backward bending stretches
our limits. Loud breath fills the room.
Our teacher says, Look back with your eyes.
She knows the mind will say you can’t do this
but if we fix on the divine behind us,
we will reach it.