Thursday, February 23, 2017


Face downward,
bent and old,
a woman leans
upon a cane
wends her way
to Macy's door.
What purchase
could be worth this toil?
A fry pan, a nightgown,
a present for a child?
Or words about the weather
and a priceless touch
when money changes hands.

Bridget Harwell

Thursday, February 9, 2017

For Elizabeth

Sit down and be quiet
nasty woman
with the big mouth.
Cackling and clucking
across the land,
feathers flying.
Ladies and bitches,
out of the coop!
Flap your wings
and roar.

Bridget Harwell

Thursday, February 2, 2017


You would not know
that they were sisters,
except for the tilt of the head
and the family nose.
One all bones
the other broad and lumpy.
Tired from the procedure,
the frail one waited behind the glass door
nothing inside her but time.
She watched her sister
lurch across the parking lot,
a duffel bag in motion.
Elbows held tight against her ribs
trying to steer herself.
She had a turned-out left foot.
It seemed to say
"Let's go the other way."

Bridget Harwell

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Long Shadows

I like it when the sun
cast my shadow
long and lean,
then the image of my father
returns to me.
Arms loose, sleeves rolled
we swing along.
It is my eighth birthday
and my Daddy sings this song.

You are my sunshine
my only sunshine
You make me happy
when skies are gray ...

Like gold, love shines through.
I put this nugget in my pocket
kept it long after
my father
went away.

Bridget Harwell

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Faced

Autumn is a lovely word
that lingers on the tongue
full and round as a pumpkin.

Fall is quick
lean as a stick.
An imperative
not to be denied
no matter the richness
of the harvest.

Bridget Harwell

The End of October

Bushels of leaves
hang on the trees
with not a wisp of wind
to shake them.
Like paratroopers
on the edge of plunge
they wait

Bridget Harwell

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I spent a summer day
in the vast garden of Altamont,
long past its time of sculptured yews 
and tended flowers.
Free to roam, roses and azaleas mixed
with daffodils and bluebells
and rhododendron ran wild down the lanes. 
A different, fallen beauty.
But I minded the lake.
Overtaken by lilies,
it could not move in the breeze.
The house, too, was enclosed,
choked by moss and vines, 
its windows shuttered.
On a side veranda,
perched upon a parapet,
a peacock stood alone
waiting, perhaps, for a larger crowd
that did not come.
It spread enormous wings,
opened a wide throat and brayed,
an eerie, high pitched call.
I fancied it missed its fellow creatures
and the sweep of their tails over cut green fields.
Knowing well the call to better days,
I turned away.

Bridget Harwell

*Altamont is a garden in Ireland