Nearly enough

I like the sound of my phone
not ringing, the stillness
of my door


I like the invitations
I do not receive,
the peaceful hollow of

my empty mailbox.

Unsolicited for any
response, I offer

Now, I have nearly enough time.

The hummingbird
feeder needs sugar
water; the nuthatches,

more seed.
If not me, who will
admire the new wren

fledglings, the blossoms
of each disparaged
weed, the generosity

of air, of water?

Who will note the
indelible chartreuse
of baby Bibb lettuce,

the antics of young fox
squirrels, the speckled
fawns gamboling

at their mother’s heels?
While velvet accretes
on the bucks’ antlers,

portending autumn,
autumn already and the
rut, autumn and the

rut and the turning
of another season. I’ll
be so busy come

fall:  my phone not
ringing, my untroubled
door, my mailbox

asking nothing.

Then, I will have nearly enough time

to admire the leaves’
changing complexion, the
air’s sharpening edge,

how day yields
so willingly
to night;

every vanishing hour.


  1. There’s never quite enough time for all of the marveling that needs to be done, but we also don’t *have to* let the “knocked doors” and “troubled mailboxes” diminish the life-affirming tasks — rather, we can let ourselves learn how not to be diminished, theoretically…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, though my skills in this area are limited. The absence of stimulus helps when one is learning not to respond. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhhh, and ahhhhh – thank you for lifting me from my to-do-list focus. Think I’ll keep this one in my reader for regular level-setting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A great response, Jazz. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this poem, Cate. We used to be mostly a ‘pull’ society/economy. If we needed something we would go look for it. Now solicitations are totally out of hand. We have quickly become a ‘push’ society/economy, with every interaction asking if we want to buy this, need this, or making us feel somehow inferior or that we are missing out if we don’t have this new fantastic thing. It’s too much for anyone, when all we really need is just enough to be, and to watch the birds and flowers in the backyard. Yes, I know I’m preaching to the choir, and you said it so much more eloquently than I. -Russ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Russ — and I love your astute observation. I was with my mother at a medical appointment yesterday, and while we were waiting in a room for the PA, we were being marketed by a screen that interspersed pharmaceutical ads with health tips. You are right: It’s relentless. I hadn’t thought about the contrast between “pull” and “push” economies, but those are great descriptors.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wait, if I comment here am I messing up the pristine nature of the empty mailbox? (Well, too late. Love this!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your solicitations always are welcome. 🙂 Thank you, Amiga.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m currently reading an early collection of Mary Oliver poems and I’ll be damned if this one wouldn’t fit right in with them. I think this is my favorite of yours, what a lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be likened to Mary Oliver is a great compliment. I’m so glad you liked this, and grateful you said so. Thank you!


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