46: The Bench by Peter Schmitt


It’s all like a bad riddle, our widow friend

said at the time.  If a tree falls in the woods

and kills your husband, what can you build from it?

That she was speaking quite literally

we did not know until the day months later

the bench arrived, filling that foyer space

in the house the neighbors pitched in to finish.

 

She’d done it, she said, for the sake of the boys,

and was never more sure of her purpose

than when they were off, playing in the woods

their father loved, somewhere out of earshot

and she would be struggling in with groceries.

For her, it was mostly a place to rest

such a weight, where other arms might have reached

 

to lift what they could.  Or like the time we knocked

at her door, and finding it just ajar,

cautiously entered the sunstruck hallway,

and saw her sitting there staring into space,

before she heard our steps and caught herself,

turning smiling toward us, a book left

lying open on the bench beside her.

 

 

This poem can be found in the volume, The Bench by Peter Schmitt.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Did you picture the woods? Could you picture the widow – and if so, what expression did you see on her face? One of purpose? One at peace?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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