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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 a writer. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. For 50-some years, Grace and her husband, Don, have lived in northern California, in Mendocino County, and in San Francisco but, as of 2024, they have relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be near family. Grace's advice for a good life is to be kind, enjoy your family and 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, find something to do for which you have some aptitude, then be willing to work hard at it!

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
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

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