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WHO LIVES ON THE OTHER SIDE by Sheila Bender

Who lives on the other side of the pond I see
through the corkscrew willow?

Who lives on the other side of years since I owned
a house with my own corkscrew willow beside it,

since I sold the branches once a year to the florist
a block around the corner and two more down the street,

since I was raising children who loved two kittens,
one Seth called Midnight, the other Emily’s Melissa,

since Midnight was stolen from our yard and Seth
absorbed his loss and his sister’s good fortune,

since a coyote destroyed the quails he kept in a backyard
pen, only grey feathers left,

since Seth was stolen from us by the icy slopes of Breckinridge
one winter’s snowboarding run?

Who lives on the other side of my grief, regular as sunset,
hungry as deer in early spring nibbling

buds on the drooping branches of this corkscrew willow?
Here I stand in front of a windbreak of popular trees

viewing a house on the other shore as if whoever
lives there will open its quiet door.

Sheila Bender Author

Sheila Bender is the founder of WritingItReal.com, a website dedicated to facilitating those who write from personal experience. She teaches online through her website, for Women on Writing and the International Association for Journal Writing.

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