How I learned to write poems

She had a tortoiseshell called Puddles
who wandered in one day and never left;
he watched us deal in words and cookies
across the kitchen table.

Her husband began to tremble when he walked,
and one night my father found them
huddled together like frightened children,
crying, “Old age is wretched,”

But I was away when my father found her,
cleaned the carpet, called her sister,
fed the cat and washed his hands
by the harsh blue light;

I wasn’t there, so all I remember
is the sun streaming over the kitchen table
into the corners of the breakfast nook,
while she told me the stories of rhythm and ryhme.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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