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Juliette says the Everything
Book on Yoga has everything in it.
She pages through to show me
what she means, pointing to
a black and white photo here,
a line of text there.

I tell her I have high blood pressure
and she says, “Don’t hold
the downward dog too long.
It’s not good for your head
to be lower than your heart.”

Juliette is 85 and her dark blue eyes
are like marbles with no shine.
She sidled up to me,
without invitation or provocation,
as I stood in the library aisle,
looking for a diet book.

She’s telling me how yoga saved her life.
She tells me how 20 years back the doctors
said her spine was too arthritic –
she would never walk again.
But she just looked at those doctors
with her hard blue eyes and said,
“I won’t accept your diagnosis.
It’s too negative.” And the following day
she enrolled in her first yoga class.
Six months later she was walking again.

“You should be the poster child for yoga,”
I say. “That’s just what my doctor says,”
she replies without missing a beat.
This miracle occurred over 10 years ago.
She’s a master teacher now and so
I trust her when she says
the Everything Book on Yoga
has everything in it, even though
as she walks away, leaving
me with a book
I hadn’t been looking for,
she limps and sways.