Friday, October 12, 2018

My Gentleman

Despite blasting horns
and the roar of motors
I choose not to run down
the old man crossing
ever so slowly
in front of me.
Over-sized pants
worn jacket
shoes without laces.
But an arresting face
of sharp bones and narrow yeyes.
Unfazed by the crazies
he holds his pace
until he reaches the curb
where, in slow motion
he turns and doffs his cap to me.
This graceful gesture from a diffeent time
lifts my spirit
removes me from the rabble of the street

Bridget Harwell

Thursday, May 3, 2018


I've lived too long
with velvet lawns
tidy trees
I want to walk
in a wild wood
crunch winter leaves
see spring,
by human hands,
peek out
from crevices
purple patches
baby greens.

Bridget Harwell

Monday, February 19, 2018

On Her Way

"Martha Stone.
That's a strong name
for a little-bitty thing like you."
The stout woman checked the card
pinned on her gown.
"You need something sweet, like Daisy.
All my ladies are flowers.
Rose and Bluebell
and now we have a Daisy."
A spark within flickered
but only for a moment.
Losing her name was the least of her losses.
A shy woman
she minded more having to be bathed if such things still mattered.

The flower woman hummed
as she helped her off with her gown
and into the tub.
She had forgotten the feel of strong hands
lifting an arm
caressing her face
the taste of soap upon her lips.
Water cascaded over her head
rippled down her shoulders
dripped from her fingertips.
As if she were a child of God
named Daisy
and this a second baptism
readying her for the place of peace

Bridget Harwell

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Small Comfort

She cracked the soft boiled egg
and scooped it out, the yoke intact.
This daily feat was accomplised
using a thin, sharp-edged spoon
with a decorative handle.
It never failed
even when her hands shook.
Once it went missing for three days
before she found it peeking out from under the stove.
She was never so happy to find anything
not even her glasses.
Small, pretty, useful, not unlike herself
when she bought it at a church sale fifty years ago.
It hd been her breakfast companion every since.
As her life went away bit by bit
she was aware of clinging to such familiar things.

Her neighbor, a kindly man
kept an eye out for her
noticed when she did not visit her garden
though the days were sunny.
He found her in bed.
It looked like a peaceful death, he told his wife
if a bit peculiar
what wtith that fancy, silver spoon folded in her hands.
But, he supposed
oddities were to be expected with the elderly.

"Did you bring the spoon Home?"
his wife asked.

Bridget Harwell

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Is This Thing Called Love?

The Smitheys
a proper couple
grown round together
often spoke for each other.
Or, conversely
lips pressed, hands folded
Mrs. Smithey
would make a display
of generous silence.
They were well liked.
She for an encompassing smile
he for market tips and jokes.
Happiest apart
they rarely parted.
Until one evening
while telling one of her stories
he choked on a fig and died.
Surprised and angry
she was overwhelmed.
The unfairness of it.
After years of practicing their routine
she was made to start over.
Without him
her smile had no direction
her lips no story to tell
her nerves
no place to land.

Bridget Harwell

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Feet tangled in sheets
sun blazing through the window
my sister sleeps beside me
undisturbed by my staring.
She has a new silhouette.
Longer and her hip has rounded.
That curve is taking her away
to places I cannot go.
I slide my hands down
my flat frame of bones and ridges
find comfort in straight lines.
But only for a moment.
Bodies change.
They do not last.
I cannot move past
this first brush with mortality.
I elbow my sister.
"Wake up," I shout.

Bridget Harwell