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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Temporary Enlightenment

The rosemary plant lives inside in winter

    (and a good thing, too).

I water it. I cut off the occasional branchlet

    to add to a stew.

I notice—oh, dear rosemary!—its warm scent

    when I brush against it.

But mostly I ignore it.

When I share space with it 

     I am usually reading,

an activity about which I am single-minded,

to say the least.


So I don't know why one winter day

I looked up from my book

and gazed idly in the direction of the

    rosemary plant.

The sun bounced off the snow in the yard

    and hit my rosemary full tilt.

Holy cow! I said.

The needles on that plant are sunlit.

If I were to paint it, each horizontal needle

     would be a white hyphen.

I began to scan the plant

to count how many needles would need

     the white-paint treatment.


But then I blinked

and the sun went behind a cloud.

Within seconds the illuminated needles faded

    to dull gray-green.

The rosemary returned to its normal,





Copyright © 2014 Ann Tudor

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Kiss

When the streetcar pulls out of the Dundas West station it travels for half a block on a tiny side street before it turns south onto Dundas West. It is nearly 5:00, and rush hour traffic is making it hard for the driver to find an opening in the traffic. He is admittedly crowding the intersection as he waits (and waits) for the opportunity to ease the big streetcar car onto the street to start its journey.


We passengers in the crowded car wait patiently for him to make the turn. I notice a well-dressed woman standing on the corner, eager to cross the street once the behemoth of a streetcar moves out of her way. And as I watch, she stands on tiptoe, brings her fingers to her lips slowly and blows an exaggerated kiss to someone on the streetcar. At first I think perhaps she knows the driver, since the gesture seems to be directed toward him. Then she does it again, sweetly and slowly. And I realize that this is not a gesture of love but of irony. Or sarcasm. She is saying, in a manner much less rude than the more ordinary finger would have been, "You are blocking the intersection, you oaf, and have been for the last three minutes. Get this effing streetcar out of my way!"

Copyright © Ann Tudor

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Something Small

Button, button,

who's got the button?

Hands in prayer—position,

the It-girl passes

around the party circle,

inserting flattened hands

between the similarly flattened,

very receptive,

praying pairs of little hands.

Seated guests watch keen-eyed

to distinguish the

true deposition of the button

from the mock deposit.


Now who has the button?

Where has it been left?

Was the It-girl sufficiently skilled

to fool the watchers?


Only two people among all these party-goers

(poker-faced, if they're smart)

know who has the button.


Small things are easily hidden.

Look! You can hide a button

in your prayer-folded hands,

then pass it along,

in secret,

to a friend.

Something small can disappear

if you so much as blink.


Copyright © 2014 Ann Tudor

Sunday, November 2, 2014


The good news is that

there's always a new road.

Roads are everywhere,

especially if your definition is not strict:

the dirt trail that narrows to foot-path width;

the crumbling switchback that gets you to the top

   of the mountain (unless you're in an ancient bus

   driven by a maniac, in which case the odds are

   you'll be tumbled off into space instead of

   reaching the tourist village at the peak).


That was the good news—that there are many roads.

The bad news is that these roads,

in their multiplicity,

lead everywhere.

Here, there,

the place you want to be,

the place you thought you'd never get to,

the place you wouldn't go to on a bet.


The meandering roads say,

"Destinations R us."

And just as you wouldn't want to watch

a ball game without a scorecard,

you'd be advised to invest in a good road map

before starting down a new road.

Roads have the upper hand

and will run you a merry chase.

And not all of them lead to Rome.



Copyright © 2014 Ann Tudor