Standing Close Together - Poem by Quentin Kirk
Standing Close Together
Our families visited occasionally
at their Amish home.
Children played together
She, slender, deeply cheerful, smiling eyes,
made everything in this clash of cultures seem
One visit I showed her a photo
an accidentally artistic double exposure of my children
feeding birds beside the ocean superimposed on a great
multitude of gathering birds.
She liked it, studied it, and observed, tiniest of smiles:
'And it is economical too! '
I helped her make the children's beds
and commented that she used so much less time
and motion than I did
head slightly to one side, soft voice:
'Maybe you need more practice! '
Breakfast at the huge old iron stove,
we worked together,
In her movements I saw those dark silent people,
children dressed like adults,
black buggies with tiny windows moving at night with
flickering warning lights,
beards and broad brimmed hats,
old German language,
graceful women, strong men
she stood near me,
long dark hair, bare feet
we looked at each other.
She suddenly excused herself,
disappeared into a side room,
to return moments later
wearing her Amish cap,
but, as in all things else,
she did it exactly
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