Keep Looking

by Patrick O’Leary

My neighbor rarely ventures out
Sometimes I see her
stepping down the drive
to get the paper
Always bundled
always timid
as if the task involved
some dare not evident to anyone but her

But this morning something stops her
on the usual path
& she pauses stunned
to see what spring
has done to the world
The sky a perfect slap of blue
The trees a riot of color
The smells tidal as a crowd cheering

& I find myself joining them
rooting for her stillness her
routine crumbling & look now
she covers her eyes with one hand
to look up at the birds
take it all in & you’d swear
she was saluting
before she retreats
& I’m practically out of my seat
doing a one-man wave whispering
Oh please keep looking
Don’t stop now
Keep looking

Patrick O’Leary’s poems have appeared in literary magazines across North America. He is the author of three novels: Door Number Three, The Gift and The Impossible Bird (Tor Books) and two collections: Other Voices, Other Doors (Fairwood Press) and The Black Heart (PS Publishing). He lives in Troy, Michigan with his wife, the artist, Sandy Rice.

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