February and March on the island are very introspective times. Donald Nitche runs a bimonthly poetry drop-in via zoom in the winter with the help of a grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council and our local libraries and I had the good fortune to join the mid February session. It opened a flood gate of poems in me, and here is one of them.
THE REAR VIEW MIRROR
I look up from the road’s curve,
rimmed with stone walls, leaning trees,
to see your bumper in my rear-view mirror,
muscled as a bully,
the proud logo centered.
And I wish you wouldn’t.
crowd and push me faster
with your impatience.
Don’t you realize how hard I’ve worked at slowing down? on these country lanes in this small community,
the struggle to unclench lists of expectations propelling me always past the now,
to fight free of the hurry-up current
and find the quiet, unique, drift
of a hometown,
to look up, allowing my gaze to be an invitation,
and listen for the layered notes of the story outside my head -
a shared harmony.
to notice that connection is as necessary and profound as breath.
I am opening a space inside myself, expansive enough to hold us all,
with room for conversation and kindness,
for messiness and reverence,
a cathedral of stillness and wonder.
Please do not hurry me.
I am going the speed limit.