Excerpt from Zooming with Quakers by Jude Rittenhouse


The following poem appears in our Autumn/Winter 2020 issue.

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April 2020: I met the eyes
of a coy-wolf who breached
our stonewall boundaries in
morning’s long-shadowed light.

We stared into each other. Three
minutes that ripple
through my life. Twelve
years ago, suspended with me

at death’s threshold, floating
in a vast black waterless
sea, eyes of whales
conveyed their grief:

humans are not the stewards
of earth we were meant to be.
Pandemics demand
re-visioning. Virtual space

converts, turns dense
as Friends sit in silent worship.
Solid as our small sanctuary
built by hope’s muscles before…

JUDE RITTENHOUSEJUDE RITTENHOUSE has received a Writer’s Grant from the Vermont Studio Center and poetry awards from Glimmer Train Press, Inc., and Poets and Patrons of Chicago, plus finalist designations for the Tiferet Poetry Prize and the Pablo Neruda Prize. Her poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies, including Nimrod International Journal; Tiferet Journal; DoveTales; Newport Review; and Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art (The Poetry Loft, 2014), among others. She was also a founding co-editor of the feminist literary magazine Moon Journal (1995-2009), which is archived in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. For over twenty-five years, Jude has taught writing and inner-growth classes and has been a speaker at conferences, retreats, schools, hospitals, hospices, and domestic violence shelters. With a master’s degree in counseling, along with extensive additional training, she is in private practice in Rhode Island.

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