THE EVENING STROLL
The old couple on the sidewalk
Arm in arm, small steps shuffling forward.
Each dressed in their Sunday best.
He in a wool striped sweater,
She in a sleeveless, long, black, dress.
Hair, his white, hers black, carefully parted.
The old couple on the sidewalk,
Offering little “Hello theres” to passers-by,
Unfazed by an insistent dog,
Who yips continually until his owner intervenes.
They could be someone’s grandparents.
The elderly woman, offering shy smiles at children playing,
The old man, white-haired and gruff,
As his set mouth implies.
But kind, in seeing how his wife is,
Glancing over, leading her around branches.
I want to stop and talk to them,
Get to know and care for them,
But I can’t bring myself to interrupt
Their short evening walks.
—from 2015 Rattle Young Poets Anthology
Why do you like to write poetry?
Rachel Mueller: “I really like putting together jigsaw puzzles, and poetry is kind of like a puzzle. I have an idea of what the whole picture looks like, but I have to spend time searching for the right puzzle piece/word to fill a gap and complete the picture/thought.”