Lion’s Breath

At yoga yesterday,
while downward dogging,
our instructor asked us
for five rounds of lion’s breath.

It’s easy—
when you exhale, stick your tongue
out as far as it will go
and with the gruesome face
that pose ensures
make the most godawful
rasping noises.

After two repetitions
I began to laugh.
I thought how wonderful
my father would have found the practice.

I imagined him lion-breathing
on the checkout line at Walmart,
during a sappy love scene
at the local twelve screen,
and at the insomniac’s gin game
under the lights at Century Village.
He’d teach technique to every child
that crossed his path
and one hundred years from today,
his descendants would still be
disrupting kindergarten nap time—
picture the peals of pure joy,
as a room of five-year-olds
discovers lion’s breath.



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