Friday, October 4, 2019


With my blue eyes
I saw a golden leaf fall.
On my smooth skin
I felt a slip of cold
and my blood ran
in a rushed flow
and my step quickened
and my ancient heart
drummed welcome
as the world rolled
towards the harvest.

Bridget Harwell

Saturday, August 17, 2019


The house muffled in heat
the persistent fly buzzing
behind limp drapes
the flat, sticky afternoons.
Slow and dull as a month of Sundays
she cannot abide August.

She shifts in her chair
as she recalls a different August
days stuffed with sunshine and freedom.
She would give a lot
maybe her life
to get up and run round the block
so fast it would feel like flying.

But dead
she would miss autumn
when she can wear sweaters
sit outside and breathe cool air.
Easy to give your life away on a difficult day.
She sits taller, spits out an annoying seed.
Having outlived beauty,brains and money
she damn well won't die in August.

Bridget Harwell

Saturday, June 8, 2019


Her mother called her Wild Child.
As soon as she could stand
she danced and stomped
her baby feet
and early learned to walk and run
while resisting all shoe offerings.
No bunny faces, blinking stars
or quacking heels could win her over.
She liked the grit of dirt between her toes
the tickle of grass
the purity of rain.

And then, the time arrived to go to school
to be like others
who didn't seem to mind enclosures:
laced shoes, chopped time, designated spaces.
Captured, she settled down
became compliant, successful.
Stood on her own two feet.
Until they began to ache
and she grew tired and pinched
and old enough to leave that world behind

 She gave-away, threw away
heels and suits
body shapers
All that binds.
She took to long, cool  dresses
barefoot walks
talks with wind and rain.   
And, if the radio played a jaunty tune
she danced like the wild child
she never really left behind.

Bridget Harwell

Friday, May 17, 2019

Thoughts in a Doctor's Office

When I was seven I received
a small, green purse
with a sharp click
velvet soft and smooth as a cat.
I felt grown-up
with important possessions
to be taken with me everywhere.
This pretend
brought comfort
as if within my velvet purse
were tools
to navigate the world.

Many purses on
the memory visits me
as I wait for a doctor with numbers.
Numbers that will take you away from me.
On my lap, a satchel purse full of life supports:
money and cards, lipstick and comb
a passport in its secret place.
I wrap my arms around my purse
hold it close for comfort.

Bridget Harwell

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


not a quiver
a red leaf
hangs in the air
suspended six feet
from the completion
of its fall.
I stare
Until my mind
seeks an answer
and my eyes find it.
The glint of
a spider line
in a moment of sun.
Magic and logic
to make mine
out of thousands falling

Bridget Harwell


Tuesday, March 5, 2019


Camped beneath the trees
lined up along the driveway
snow drops are rioting in my yard.
Two inches high
their droopy little heads together
they're bound in flower solidarity
withstanding every weather.
Even the mad March hare
that runs about my house at night
cannot scare these little soldiers.
Heralds of spring
they close ranks against
the blustering wind
 that, unbeknownst to it
carries the snowdrop message
spring is coming.

Bridget Harwell

Friday, February 15, 2019


My girl, he called her
and her heart flipped
her brain bubbled.
This is my girl, he said
when he introduced her
to his friends.
She preened  with pride.
But forty years later
her heart righted
the bubbles burst
she resisted the title.
As if she had no other name
no other identity.
with a usual dash of anger
he gave it up.
Until a final day
when he whispered
You will always be my girl.
Sparked by love or revenge...
she had years to consider
the weight of  words.

Bridget Harwell

Friday, February 8, 2019


Whenever I see
a wayward shoe
sitting on the sidewalk
or lying in the road
I wonder.
Surely the day began with two.
One shoe bespeaks misfortune.
An accident, a sore toe...
not a clue to tell the story
Only the one
The comfort
the companionshiop
the perfect pairing

Bridget Harwell

Friday, February 1, 2019

                 Maria's Day

His ninety-three year old hand
cannot extract
a scratchy something inside his shirt.
Busy arguing, his daughers are oblivious.
They have been fighting for sixty years.
No matter.
They keep him clean, fed and medicated
in a routine tight as a girdle.
He strives not to be a burden
is appreciative and apologetic
except on Fridays
when the daughters turn him over to Maria.
And today is Friday.

She enters smiling.
"Mr. Moore, how are today?"
she says as if excited to see him.
She kisses him on the cheek
and her misty, curly hair brushes over him
as if his face were a valued antique.
Always, they begin their time together with the weekly news
he, his health, his spirits, his impatient daughters
she, her lopsided love life.
She has a boyfriend they call Fungus because he comes and goes
and she cannot rid herself of him because she loves him.
She likes to scold.  "You did not eat your lunch.
Why didn't you comb your hair for me?
There is jam on your handsome face."
While she feeds him, bathes him, dresses him
she hums or sings and sometimes, if he asks, shows him salsa steps.
On Maria nights, he sleeps well, safe as a bundled baby.
She sits beside him on the bed and togethr they laugh and say, "Cuddle tiime."
It's ridculous, he knows, doesn't care.
His head against her shoulder, she holds his hand, speaks lulling Spanish words.
A clever, coprprate man with years of power and positon
he wonders if he is sliding into senility
has heard his daughers' whispers.
What they don't know
what he only recently knows
he feels loved.

Bridget Harwell