Harvested Words

blue white and red poppy flower field

I marvel at the words, how they lay across the page in tended rows

or sound when spoken, not simply read, as wind fetching across a meadow of wildflowers.

Not my words. Hers, his, theirs, gathered in an attempt to grasp their meaning, their intent.

Even falling short, curiosity takes the lead until sympathy, jealousy, another -y intercedes      

until I turn or swipe or click away 

or actually turn an actual page

or if confusion (or another -ion) nods, pushes back, I pick a phrase, 

a whisper,                    a page,                         a line, 

                        to reconsider…                                   to stroll through the garden

or across the planted meadow ,

            and  laugh 

or cry

or cough or sneeze at ideas that trigger my sensitivities,

          or jump from bees in search of the nectar within these words

or swipe the flies and other creep crawly things,

                                    and, so, click (or page)



            sweetness or excruciating truth

                        empathy inhaled in that gasp

                                    something                                          recognized



then catalogued as                 

                                                                                                one I never could have 

uttered or written;

            one I wish I was talented,                   gifted,                         injured,

            insightful, young, or different 

or, simply, blessed enough                                         to have planted.

Nevertheless, blessed enough to harvest.

Poem by Russell Willis

Russell Willis won the Sapphire Prize in Poetry in the 2022 Jewels in the Queen’s Crown Contest (Sweetycat Press) and has published poetry in thirty online and print journals and twenty print anthologies. Russell grew up in and around Texas and was vocationally scattered as an engineer, ethicist, college/university teacher and administrator, and Internet education entrepreneur throughout the Southwest and Great Plains, finally settling in Vermont with his wife, Dawn. He emerged as a poet in 2019 with the publication of three poems in The Write Launch. Russell’s website is https://REWillisWrites.com