• Penny Harter


I haven’t written very much in recent weeks, perhaps because I’ve been able to go out more since being vaccinated. Also, I think I’ve gone a bit fallow after putting together the year’s worth of poems from my forthcoming collection Still-Water Days from Kelsay Books.

However, as we enter this 2nd pandemic spring, I notice that I feel even more nostalgia for days gone by, not just “how it used to be before Covid” but even for years gone by.


Another Spring

Back in the ‘80s, after my parents moved from New Jersey to Texas, buying a lot next to my sister for their new double-wide ranch home, my parents still called two of their three bedrooms by my and my sister’s names.

soon to be scrap metal---

abandoned swing set

When my late husband Bill and I visited them, we slept in “Penny’s room” while my sister’s had become a storage room. In it I found an old photograph album open to a page that held my grandmother—a baby lying on a fur rug in front of a fireplace. Several years later when my sister and I were cleaning out our parents’ home, the album was missing. I still wonder where it went.

visiting the

lost-and-found bin

hoping to recover . . .

These days, it doesn’t take much for me to tear up, sometimes prompted by something random and unexpected, or by the sudden, brief visitation of a memory. Perhaps this year of isolation has caused my emotional vulnerability—this year of strange nighttime dreams, of time sliding into a stream of days, and of my growing empathy with all who have suffered illness and loss. Yet even so, I find something good to celebrate each day! We are resilient, and there is hope.

spring light rides

this morning’s wind—

high tide in the river

© 2021 Penny Harter

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