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James Crews: I Keep the Window Open

Just standing at the window, looking out

at the pink crowns of vetch vines

that I have let overtake the lawn,

along with the daisies, and the wild

black-eyed Susans and a hundred others 

I can’t name, thriving where the world 

would rather see neatly clipped grass.

But what fun is that for crickets and bees

and the song sparrow who occasionally

lands on the very tip of some stalk

of overgrown weed gone to seed?

And don’t I have more pressing things

to accomplish besides standing here

like a king surveying his ragged empire,

noticing the tiny spider I’ve let live

in a corner of the window sill, his

intricate web having trapped a single

writhing ant he is just now wrapping

in silk for later, as I would love to

save every intact moment like this.

Listen, I have stood at the bedside

of my father, waiting for the good breath

to leave his weary body, I have watched

my mother turn blue with the struggle

to draw air into her ravaged lungs,

and keep it there. Life’s too fragile

to waste on money or importance,

handing over the hours that will never 

be returned to us. And so I stand 

for as long as I wish, keeping the window 

open, so I can feel the ozone-scented 

breeze blowing across my body.

Copyright 2023 James Crews

James Crews’s books include Bluebird (Green Writers Press, 2020) and The Path to Kindness: Poems of Connection and Joy (Storey Publishing, 2022).

James Crews (Storey Publishing)

10 comments on “James Crews: I Keep the Window Open

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    April 14, 2023

    “I would love to
    save every intact moment like this.” Me, too. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. laureanne2013
    April 13, 2023

    Such a peaceful moment reading this!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. John Balaban
    April 13, 2023

    Sweet poem. Good luck to James Crews.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jason
    April 13, 2023

    Great poem James!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Noelle Canin
    April 13, 2023

    Oh James, you are such a creature of hope. Thank you for this!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rosemerry
    April 13, 2023

    Oh my gosh, I love this poem so much. And this reminder about what matters and what does not. It sound me at just the right time. Thank you, James.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosemerry
      April 13, 2023

      Ahem. It found me

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barbara Huntington
      April 13, 2023

      Yes, coffee in hand, I stand above my yard of native plants and some others, drought-tolerant, watch birds and bunnies (Tashi rarely even barks at them now) and admire, when they appear, the orb spiders’ artwork and the bees and butterflies who find refuge from the poison-sprayed or plastic lawns that surround us. However, I am well-bundled against the San Diego cold that my eastern friends would laugh at. Blame it on many years distinguishing winter from summer in Southern California, or maybe just a body that has seen many years.

      Liked by 1 person

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