Laughing Buddha In a stranger’s yard, an obese squirrel in a maple tree nibbles a peanut. From an icy sidewalk I count thirteen shells, pale figure-eights someone placed on a platform before him. It’s Thanksgiving. Soon I will fete and feast, sating myself as easily as Fat Buddha here. I plan to bypass the arugula salad with cranberries and pecans I made, pile my plate with gouda and peanut-butter pie. I read that Fat Buddha was a wandering monk who carried candy in a sack. He forecasted the weather, credited as a small miracle. According to the soft batting in the sky, we may soon have snow and if we do, my prize should be a small statue of this squirrel to remind me of his blissful disregard of Body Mass Index. I remember a boyfriend who told me, your belly looks like the Buddha at the Chinese diner. I breathe through the sting still festering after five years, tuck feelings away one by one into a quilt-covered bassinet. Let them rest. It was a blessing! says the gem I sometimes see at the bottom of my muddy moods. Fat Buddha, Laughing Buddha, was one much loved and welcomed everywhere. Who loves this squirrel? Who loves me? The quilted sky dissolves into weightless flakes, closes in. Who tames us with such abundance? I am embraced.
Margaret Coombs is a poet and retired librarian from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA, the city of her birth, located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Her first chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Press under the name Peggy Turnbull. She now uses her birth name as her pen name. Recent poems have appeared in Silver Birch Press, Bramble, Three Line Poetry, and Verse-Virtual. She occasionally blogs at https://peggyturnbull.blogspot.com/.