Excerpt from Questions by Jude Rittenhouse

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The following poem appears in our Fall/Winter 2019 issue. Purchase this single issue in print or digital format.

1

Who are we? Really?
Are we more like trees, fulfilling dreams
of acorns and seeds, or are we sea’s
children: forever transforming from mist
to fog to cloud to rain to river or lake
until our homecoming—our re-union?

2

Wind’s vehemence kept me
awake last night: he screeched
through high limbs and hills,
hurled rain by fists-full. I wondered:
Has our oldest oak sunk anchors deep
enough? Will maples, chestnuts, cedars
and oaks whisper encouragement
to each other through their roots
and survive wind’s tantrum? Let me be
honest: fear, not wind, prevented me
from dreams. Fear
and his cryptic sister chanted their couplet
of questions: Am I safe? What is safety?

3

What waits beyond memory
and what if we could bear living
without answers? Our questions
strung between birches like prayer flags.
Offerings.
Might we then believe
childless old women? Their wild hair
streaming like moonlight on a river:
enchantment’s dance. Revelations
unending.

JUDE RITTENHOUSEJUDE RITTENHOUSE is a writer, teacher, speaker, editor, and holistic consultant (Nondual Kabbalistic Healer with a Master’s Degree in Counseling). She has received a Writers’ Grant from the Vermont Studio Center, poetry awards from Glimmer Train Press and Poets & Patrons of Chicago, and her poems have been finalists multiple times for both the Pablo Neruda Award and the Tiferet Poetry Prize. Her work has been published in many literary magazines and anthologies, including Nimrod International Journal; Balancing the Tides; River Oak Review; and Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art, among others. https://juderittenhouse.com/

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