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 ,
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
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