A Look Out the Window, by Russell Rowland

Russell Rowland
A LOOK OUT THE WINDOW

Puddles boil under pelting rain all day.
Not one of New England’s “if you don’t
like the weather, wait a minute” days—

not sprinkle or deluge, but a well-paced,
cancel-the-cookout-rent-a-movie rain.
We need it, after garden-wilting drought.

Ted says Eloise asked the hospice nurse
for a pill, any pill: she mourns her poverty
of life; wants death, and wants it now.

I stretch for compassion. Eloise lacked
nothing. In her heaven, there will be
no Welfare fraud, no illegal immigrants.

And no death on demand, apparently.
Strange, how often the oblivious young
meet ends they weren’t looking for at all.

This wet weather must incite Eloise
to dissatisfaction with her dying days.
She’d prefer a sunset and a nightingale.

I judge neither her humor, nor the rain
that bejewels a web at my windowpane:
the spider gets a beverage with its meal.

Author’s Comment: The author may not be the best (or only) person to say what a poem is about, assuming the question is worth asking. As I look back on the writing of A Look Out the Window, the spider at the end reminds me of “consider the birds of the air…consider the lilies of the field.” So maybe the poem suggests, “don’t be anxious about your life.”

Bio: Russell Rowland, from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, has received five Pushcart Prize nominations. He is a past winner of Old Red Kimono’s Paris Lake Poetry Contest and twice winner of Descant’s Baskerville Publishers Poetry Prize. His chapbook, “Train of All Cabooses,” is available from Finishing Line Press.

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2 thoughts on “A Look Out the Window, by Russell Rowland

  1. I can well understand why this poet has recieved so many nominations and prizes; he has the ability to come at life – or rather, death – from an oblique angle, the beginning giving few clues as to the end. My wife died in a hospice – a quick and ‘good’ death – so I can relate to this poem in some ways. What all three of these poets reviewed so far have in common is an economy of style, plus the ability to tell a ‘story’ in a different, interesting way.

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