“Hardship in a Nice Place” by Jack Ridl

Jack Ridl


The roof on our house slants out
over the garden and if it rains
the water falls on what blossoms

still arc in late August. My wife
is sleeping through her day. There
is a breeze here on the porch. There

is a certain slant of light collapsing
through the beech trees on the hill. One
tree fell this afternoon. I could hear it

cracking into the quiet, saw an angle
of trunk begin to lean and then rustle
its branches across the limbs along

the stagger of woods. At night, sounds
come I can never identify. It’s often
like that, our long days lacking much

of anything that can be named. My
wife will sleep. I will walk back from
the mailbox with our dog and wait.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012


Jack Ridl: “I’m 67. Over the years why I write poems has twisted and turned and hopped and shifted in many ways. But one thing has stayed the same: writing poems places me with what matters in a world that pulls us every hour away from all that clings to our hearts. I love poems because they can connect us to what we might never discover. They’ve kept me always at ages 7 and 70.” (web)

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