A Barred Blessing

In the cold snowy mountains
In Tibet
Her nomad parents—
named her Tenzin
A privilege worth risking it all.

Little Tenzin grows up
Without knowing the meaning her name holds
While her parents always look at her
With unflinching faith and hope.

Her parents revere and worship
The tiny weathered picture hidden inside the crack in the wall.
Tenzin is reminded
Her name is a barred blessing.

For her parents,
This is closest they can get to the Dalai Lama.
They would only call her by her name
Within the safe confines of their home.

Yet here far from Tibet
My friend Tenzin complains
There are too many of him
A privilege still
but one taken for granted.

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