“The Evening Stroll” by Rachel Mueller

Rachel Mueller (age 13)


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.”

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