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Me and the Hummingbird
Grace Hughes Chappell


today is the first
day when we can open our window
to the sun
to the warmer air
to hear our city’s recorded greeting

“this is a test
this is a test of the tsunami
warning system—
this is only a test”

sitting on some bare bough
above the aloe flowering
forth in yellow flames,
his intended hears
a different
rusty hinge opening
into spring—
his squeak, “watch me!”
as if Earth needs
just that squirt
of oil (a lube job)
to get the season

© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author’s permission.

Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and she has written. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. Grace lives in northern California near the Eel River, where she and her husband maintain a garden and an apple orchard. Her advice for a good life is be as kind as you can be (and maybe a little more than that), enjoy your family and your friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, and—last of all—find something to do for which you have some aptitude. “You don’t have to be a genius,” she says, “just work!”



Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Love the aloe/flowering forth in yellow flames. Beautiful language in this poem.
Posted 03/22/2022 03:54 PM
Good one!!!
Posted 03/22/2022 12:23 PM
Congratulations Grace, on this original and wise poem.
Posted 03/22/2022 08:36 AM
Larry Schug:
This poem certainly presents a new and different perspective on Spring for me. Of course, one of the functions of a good poem is just that. My favorite words are "a...rusty hinge opening into spring". I also appreciate the advice contained in the bio. statement. Thank you, Grace.
Posted 03/22/2022 06:58 AM
lovely poem. I often called my late wife a lube job, as she loved gardening and season dances, to bring the season forth faster.
Posted 03/22/2022 06:25 AM

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