Therapist's Lunch Hour

Oh I skipped posting, two weeks. I haven't done that in yearssss. But I have before and I came back. It was heaven. Here is what I also allowed myself: to put on pajamas at seven pm, transition to my new job, practice guitar only when I felt like it, drink diet Coke, get the kids dinner from the taco truck. Oh and I cried and admitted I am afraid and a loser. So wonderful to lose it. 

Therapist’s Lunch Hour

Because I work in a busy underfunded agency,
I spend the first half of my lunch writing progress notes
that I am supposed to finish while in session (52 minutes)
something called concurrent documentation,
something I will probably never master (ever).
Because when I am supposed to be filling in the box
called Progress and someone tells me they have
contacted an estranged child or stayed sober this week,
I do not want the computer screen swallowing my kudos.
When I ask “and Challenges?”
I do not want them speaking to my turned head
as they tell me they are now homeless or they found out
their sixteen year old daughter is FaceTiming pimps.

I am eating turkey soup (salty)
and just inhaled a corn kernel into my lung
then drooled on my journal where I am writing.
I am writing to remember I have my own life
which is true AND an illusion (mostly).
I make a note to buy a requested Tootsie roll lollipop for a client.
He is five and his eyes are every color of mossy stone.
For a while he believes a purse in the shape of a fish is magic
and if he writes his feelings (unwanted)
the fish will take away the feeling and leave candy.
Last week it was MAD written in orange with stripes (tiger).
This week it is sad penned in blue with tears (three).

The fish purse, purchased at Goodwill,
is mostly red, with scales of different scraps of fabric,
handmade. I love considering the person
who created it and how pleased they might be
to know it is now a receptacle for healing.
One day the little boy tells me he has figured
out the fish isn’t real and it is me placing treats.
I don’t admit it, nor will I ever,
because we all must have magic helpers.
Go to’s like friends or therapists who wade with us in turbid waters,
paper that records scared scrawling,
walking, (dear clients, you must move)
sweets like tootsie pops
(even now, I like the orange ones)
and prayer (sometimes to mossy stones).