Gary Diggins
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The Invitation

Take this empty hand
itís not coursing with vitality
itís not brimming with promises
itís not meant to pull you up
for we stand on level ground

What I offer you is the same courtesy
gifted me
that misty morning in Dharamkot
The old Tibetan woman took my hand
and without a word spoken
she peeled and passed me
a segment of tangerine

Before I lifted the sweet fruit to my mouth
she slowly tied a bracelet
around the soft and vulnerable place
where those in despair
will cut the wrist

Her bracelet has faded and fallen away
but her kindness
continues to hum in my bones
I was welcomed, protected, and transformed
from stranger into other

take my hand
calloused yet tender to the touch
Maybe we will learn each otherís name
Maybe we will hear each otherís story
Maybe the scent and sweetness of tangerine
will mysteriously waft through
the air between us