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Sunday in the Windy City
Mary Lou Taylor


Outside, soft snow
thickens on tree limbs, covers
paths, smothers imprints of angels
made fresh that morning in the rectangle
of the yard below, snow
that blurs lines of buildings,
blots out lampposts and streets.
Inside, a stifling Sunday morning
always the same, always
the breakfast served too late,
funnies spread out on the rug
finished too soon, the Philco radio
playing organ music in place of church,
nothing to do for the rest of a long day’s sighs.
At the window, nose pressed
to cool glass, a child hears the rustle
of newspapers, clink of glasses, clack
of crockery. On a tree branch piled
high with snow a tiny bird,
beak open, warbles and trills.
The windowpane stops its song.

© by Mary Lou Taylor.
Used with the author’s permission.


Mary Lou Taylor tried three other majors before settling on English. A teacher off and on for many years, she got serious about writing poetry after she retired. Author of one book and published in several journals and anthologies, she has a second book in the works and has proven retirement to be the myth it so often is by continuing to teach a few writing and poetry classes. Learn more about Mary Lou, who lives in Saratoga, California, at


Post New Comment:
Thank you for this beautiful poem. You have captured with images the entire scene-- perspective of the not mentioned adults and the child at the window--the pane stopping the bird's song.
Posted 01/08/2012 11:32 AM
Mary Lou captures the vast distance between outside and inside in January in Chicago, where Mary Lou and I grew up. Here in California, where we've lived our adult lives, the outside is so distant infrequently--it's all a blur here.
Posted 01/08/2012 11:27 AM
Wonderful details!
Posted 01/08/2012 10:53 AM
Beautiful poem. I was taken to the scene immediately and was touched by the image of the bird singing a song that cannot be heard. Sheer magic!
Posted 01/08/2012 08:13 AM
Mary Lou, this is just beautiful. I love the silence of snow, it makes us stop a while and see the beauty of birdsong, the naked branches piled with snow, the beauty of nature all around us. Loved the warmth of a Sunday breakfast with the contrast of nature outside. Maire x
Posted 01/08/2012 04:53 AM

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