My grandmother was so tired
that my mother was born tired.
My Mama’s so tired
that I’m tired right now. And I see
my children getting tired,
so it’s time to put this to bed.
I will gift time to my children;
they will inherit a legacy of resting:
Leisure time and vacation days taken,
sick time used to nap and renew.
I’ll steal time and show them how to eat it raw,
I’ll say “Yes!” to my babies, on the clock,
show them how to tuck joy and stillness
into the pockets of reclaimed life.
When I accrue time: I let them see how I use it.
When I take time: I give it to them and let them play.
I save time in their names, for them to practice how to
and spend it on rest.
It has been said that the best things in life are free;
The high cost of the best things in life is time!
My progeny will know that time seeds restoration:
how creativity is nurtured by time to play,
how love is deepened by time together,
how revolution needs time to imagine,
how healing and growing are possible and what it takes
to rebuild broken skin and bone.
That wellness is rest is time is wealth.
Excerpted with permission from Incantations for Rest: Poems, Meditations, & Other Magic by Atena O. Danner (Skinner House, 2022).