Saturday, May 21, 2016

Who Lives There?

(One of my quick little watercolor sketches, done during a pause in my daily walk)

Today's poem came to me on the bus, was largely written on the bus, because it took hold of me ... and wouldn't let go.

Over time, I became aware of that particular window, that struggling plant. It got so I was watching for that cracked window each day when my bus went climbing back up the hill on the way home.

I kept expecting to see someone at the window, watering the plant, turning it in the sunlight, or simply looking out at the passing traffic. But I never did.

Still, the plant hung on, seemed to be growing, leafing out slightly, and I kept wondering who lived there with it ... "what small measures of encouragement" they shared.

Originally published in the literary journal, Poem, now part of a manuscript in search of a publisher:


In an upstairs window,

below a sagging
gutter, beside siding
wind-peeled and flapping,
beneath a window shade
water-stained and torn,
behind a pane cracked
diagonally like a fragile
promise, sits a spindly
plant taking what sun
it can on a winter day,
while my bus struggles
in its uphill climb
toward a daily nagging
question: Who lives
there with this plant,
and what small measures
of encouragement do they
have to bridge the days?
© 2006

Today's word: encouragement

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