From an old bench
while basking in
late Autumn’s sun
I notice something
not belonging
among a mound
of large white rocks
piled on the edge
of our spring fed pond
first enlarged
by town founders
Truckloads of boulders
to shore up its bank
have arrived from elsewhere
like me
who chose this village
twice as home
with then without

A slender stalk of corn
only ten inches high
sprouts among
the white stones
from seeds sown
too late in summer
This plant has no reason
to grow here and now
for me to wonder about it
But I do

A solitary mallard
swims in the pond
by way of a woman
poor, a bit unusual
and often ridiculed
by locals
She loves and cares
for animals of all kinds
especially illustrated
by flea bites
Scabs and scars
spot her arms and legs

She found that glossy
green-headed duck
worried and waddling
through neighboring yards
and placed him lovingly
in our pond
He soars away daily
to visit nearby waters
but returns
Soon his friends
come to visit
Some stay

A man from another town
drives over once a week
his workday finished
and scatters seed corn
to feed our ducks
and other birds
I’ve chatted with him
We’ve both spent time
with the duck lady
as she’s also known

Greedy squirrels
born here
don’t need to be fed
among plentiful hickory and oak
some of these planted too
The little hoarders
skitter and scamper yearlong
Today one glares at me
for an uncomfortable
amount of time
when I dare
to usurp a bench
she’s staked out
as her luncheonette

But no birds or squirrels ate
that particular yellow grain
faithfully scattered
on the grass
near water and stone
And I wonder
who else has noticed
this tiny futile stem
held “green and dying”

In our cherished park
meeting and greeting
each from afar
we can never
fathom the depth
of knowing how
the heart
never sows out of season

Clouds and corn

Top photo courtesy White-Rock-Lake Blogspot; bottom photo by Dani Simmonds

Author: Mary Jo Malo

Christian, mother, grandmother, and poet of occasional worth.

15 thoughts on “Distance”

    1. As always, I appreciate your response. Thank you, Dave! Now I’m headed over to contemplate your most recent post about realistic war novels. Then I’m going to contemplate which head space I prefer to dwell in for today πŸ™‚


  1. Dear Mary Jo, I see that you have the heart to feel and the words to share. This is a special inheritance from your parents and a unique gift from God. Never feel shy to speak out. Men may like you or not, your words are not chained. Let freedom sing its songs until every bondage melts for lack of sympathy. God bless you Sister!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Sister Mary, I love that you are able to find beauty in the mud, and diamonds (though unpolished) in the city trash cans. I love that you don’t waste your emotions. You prune them and let them grow! I love that your words are like arrows, all gathered in the bull’s eye! I love that you help young birds learn how to fly! I love that you have the courage to pass thru the storms until you arrive at that island of ‘peace, be still’ I love that you have found the courage to speak! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your kind words of encouragement, literary praise, and blessing are a bounty I never expected when launching this small endeavor. May God continue to bless the work of your hands both inside and outside Nigeria!


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