The word: Humble
Over a weekend in Stanley, Idaho (pop. 63) – the home of the Sawtooth Relay and also a wonderful place to write – I got into conversation with a woman who had spent two winters there.
The Stranger: Basya
Her Word: Humble
The poem I wrote:
There are so many ways to get an education. You can stare
down the winter at an empty city, make yourself airtight
for when summer sails in, a quiet ark where people come
in pairs; in the silence you hear them growing young and old.
How humble to be bound by birth, love, and death: the three
stories that wash us clean and join us snug as logs.
A thin-legged man brings a cocktail in plastic to his wife
on the Adirondack chair. They face the lake as the mountain
casts its shadow, aging up toward the sky. A couple arrives,
sixteen years old and carrying their shoes. She is slender,
her hips are just beginning. At the water she hugs herself, cold.
He pats her shoulder, ready to be a husband. And one small
girl in pink practices hopping. Her hat pink, her shorts pink,
her shirt pink, her feet bare. Her mother slings an infant
over a hip. Hop, hop. This girl’s face glimmers like water
in the pink evening. She will be all of us, one day.
The Challenge: Do you have a poem on this word? Write one here.