The Widow On The Block

Red door



The Widow on the Block

The red of her door says welcome
open blinds indicate she’s home

She knows the name of every neighbor
keeps cookies and snacks at the ready

She invites us over
at every opportunity

but usually we just wave
as we drive by—

the children keep
tight schedules

by Lori Lipsky, April 2013
photo: JoLin/iStockphoto

47 thoughts on “The Widow On The Block

  1. Wow. Kind of makes me sad. My neighbor is 90 and I shovel for her, rake and mow her lawn, but it is hard to find time to just go and SIT at her table and visit. Definitely a good reminder to be more intentional in making that attempt.

  2. You create a call to action in so few words and in such a beautiful way :-).

  3. People forget to picture themselves in the shoes of others, to read between the lines. Both of these qualities are on view here.

  4. A lovely, gentle reminder to slow down and share more time those who are lonely. You have such a subtle way of tugging at my conscience on certain issues. Thank you for that.

  5. Convicting! It is hard to know where to find the right balance in life–especially with kids. Well said, Lori. You have a gentle way of stating even hard things. 🙂

    • I wish I had taken my kids to visit widows when they were young. I had intentions but failed to follow through. As my kids got older and I didn’t have to worry about behavior, whining, running, etc. I did it more often. Thank you, Rebeca.

  6. “She invites us over at every opportunity.” If only we go to see her at every opportunity! Thank you for the reminder and kind nudge, Lori.

  7. Thankfully, I haven’t such a neighbour but, who knows, one day this could be me…!
    We all lead such busy lives, in the main… There is certainly a lot to be said for belonging to a social group or two; if that is at all possible.
    As I sit and ponder, I am also realising the ‘social act’ of community here on WP as we engage over cyberspace. I know for some, this is their only form of communication, which must be better than none at all… You’ve set me to ‘pondering’, Lori..! Your evocative posts have a habit of doing that…! 😉

    • “There is certainly a lot to be said for belonging to a social group or two; if that is at all possible.” Yes, yes. I love this statement of yours. There’s so much truth there. I try to encourage this amongst my soon-to-be-empty-nester friends! I too am thankful for my WP friends! Especially the one who taught me how to use (and now over use) emoticons here. 😀 🙂 😉

      Sometimes the older folks are too ill, or they have a circle of friends, but lose them one by one. My parents lost two of their closest friends in one month recently.

  8. You know, you have a lot of “Sues” that follow you. So I think I will share with you the moniker I use when I leave a comment at Free Penny Press. You’ll have to wait till the end to learn it…

    What a sweet and sad and wonderful poem. I loved that red door. You are a gifted writer, Lori, and I’m so glad to have found your blog.

    Now, onto the moniker. This is appropriate as I always seem to be last to comment-
    (stands for “Little Noodle” as in – just me, the little noodle commenting last on your page again).

    • Little Noodle, One cannot have too many friends with the name Sue. It’s one of my very favorite names. My dad wanted to name me Susie, and he always called me Susie-Q as I was growing up. Thankfully my Sue friends all have different last names, so there’s absolutely no confusion. Besides, you’re the only Sue from Vermont, so you’re extra special.

      Thanks for your kinds words about my writing. You were my #1 commenter last month so you deserve a prize. A haiku?? 😀 😀 Really, it’s coming…sometime.

      • Oh geesh… this is me, the Little Noodle, blushing! Just for that, I’m gonna do it – I’m gonna have to reblog your “Shut Up” poem. It still makes me laugh.
        Hope you have a wonderful and joyful day, my dear.

        • Nothing makes a poet happier than to hear that someone remembers a poem of theirs from a while back…and it still touches them in some way 🙂

          Thanks for sharing my words with your audience. Hope you have a marvelous day, Sue.

        • You have such a gift – I’m always amazed how you can capture a thought or feeling with such few words.
          Hope your day is just as marvelous, Lori.

  9. It is funny you wrote this poem today! I am both the lady with the open drapes and the treats as well as the neighbor.

    The children of the neighborhood always have excuses to ring the bell and walk in, whether my grandchildren are here or not. Blessings their visits are!

    I keep in touch with 3 old ladies. After a while of phone calls and sharing some food which the children take over, yesterday and day before I paid them a visit. Needless to say, that is the best gift anyone can give: the gift of our time and presence. They both were thrilled and grateful!

    Thank Lori for reminding me to do it more often!

    Blessings and Light!

    • How delightful to hear from you today, Katina. I hope you’ve been doing well. Thanks for commenting on both sides of the coin.
      All the best. ~Lori

      • Cannot hide for ever! Can I? We are doing better…slowly coming out…but our troubles are not over! That’s Life… always keeping us in …line!
        Blessings Lori!

  10. This indeed is the Other side of Sadness. As we get enmeshed in the hurry burry of our own lives, we lose the compassion of our inner eye, do we not? Your verse is such a great reflection of that.


  11. Another very special poem Lori, because it could be any of us with that red door and the hope that resides behind it. It’s a reminder to think now, beyond our own busy lives.

  12. why should you keep your neighbor hanging? good pple r rare.appreciate ur neighbor more

  13. This is a very powerful poem Lori. … & the image really brings it home. So much we let pass us by. This reminds us all to take the time – and make the time… Beautiful — x RL

  14. Pingback: The Widow’s Flowerbeds | Lori Lipsky | Poetry Patio

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