I went for a walk in the rain with my husband for my birthday, through a neighborhood I’d only been in to pick up the babysitter, and came across a box on a pole in the yard of a 1970s-era ranch. We figured the house was for sale and wanted to see how much it cost. We’re nosy like that. When I got closer, I noticed the pole was painted red and decorated with the word “poetry.”
I lifted the lid to the box and pulled out a yellow sheet of paper, which I read aloud while trying to shield it from raindrops. “Welcome to my poetry pole,” I began, my eyes big as saucers. “I am glad you stopped by. Every few weeks, I will add a new poem here, hopefully choosing poems that are enjoyable and accessible to all; please share them with family and friends if you feel so moved.”
How cool was that?! The owner of the house closed his/her introduction with a quote from three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg: “Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.”
As my husband took photos of our discovery with my iPhone, I read the selected poem: “Risk” by American author Anais Nin:
And then the day came
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
I’d read that poem many times, but still, what a joyful surprise.
What would you put in your poetry pole?