Two Poems by Rita A. Simmonds

Busy with Wonder

As a child, the best days I had nothing to do.
I would sit in the grass in my backyard
and gaze at the empty baseball field
with the village salt piles behind
and the mess of woods beyond
and ask, “How is it that I am?”

But it wasn’t a question
about the birds and the bees—
it was a question about me
in the moment that I was in
which instantly moved into the next.
I knew right then and there
I could never not exist.

The question and the answer
became one thing, opened out from me
like a sunflower that lifts its lion head
and mirrors the star sustaining it.

I treasure the days of pause
where everything is:
the fields, salt piles, woods,
the birds and the bees—
who’ve never asked how they exist.
I’ll ask on their behalf.
“How is it that everything is?”


The sky is blasting off.
I can hear its engines.
Or maybe it’s the moving
of heavenly furniture?
A light flashes.
Something heavy is dropped.
The rain runs down the street.
Trees sway like bodies in mourning.
The lake is the lavished on,
gaining everything.

Rita A. Simmonds has published four books of poetry and a biography/memoir, Convicted by Mercy: The Journey of Frank Simmonds from the Streets to Sanctity.

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