Between the Lines

Patti RussoM.S., CPT Certified Poetry Therapist                                                             (978) 314-8659                                                              Cambridge, MA 02139                                       
Poem for August 2018

"Poetry, like bread, is for everyone."
          -- Roque Dalton
The Book of Hours by Joyce Sutphen

There was that one hour sometime
in the middle of the last century. 
It was autumn, and I was in my father's 
woods building a house out of branches 
and the leaves that were falling like 
thousands of letters from the sky. 

And there was that hour in Central Park 
in the middle of the seventies. 
We were sitting on a blanket, listening 
to Pete Seeger singing "This land is 
your land, this land is my land," and 
the Vietnam War was finally over. 

I would definitely include an hour 
spent in one of the galleries of the 
Tate Britain, looking up at the
painting of King Cophetua and 
the Beggar Maid, and, afterwards 
the walk along the Thames, and  

I would also include one of those
hours when I woke in the night and 
couldn't get back to sleep thinking
about how nothing I thought was going
to happen happened the way I expected, 
and things I never expected to happen did—

just like that hour today, when we saw 
the dog running along the busy road, 
and we stopped and held on to her 
until her owner came along and brought 
her home—that was an hour well 
spent. Yes, that was a keeper. 

Prompt: What hours would you include in your book of hours? Think of a few special moments in your life that stand out. It might be a simple outing like a picnic, or something more powerful like the birth of a child, or a significant goal you reached. Begin with: "There was that one hour sometime..."