hermits at nautilus teachings



1 a person living in solitude as a religious discipline.

when i was young
an elderly lady
lived on one side of us…
every day in the summer
you could see her
gray bun atop her head
while she worked
in her huge vegetable
and flower garden.
she wore dark glasses
long billowy dresses
that blew in the wind
white socks
and gray lace up shoes
to her
but i watched her…
she lived alone
and on Sundays
her daughter and grandchildren
would visit…
during those long hot
midwestern summers
i would lay upon
the tall green grasses
next to the fence
which separated our yards
and wait for a glimpse of her…
sometimes all i saw were shoes
hardly ever her face
and when our eyes did catch
she would smile

not me, though,nope…
i would hold my breath
my heart would begin to
bam, bam, bam
in my chest
and i became frozen.
she would turn away
and i would exhale
roll over and run away…
for some reason
people scared me…
sure i had a few friends
and one bff
but with her
we barely talked
we just giggled
and whispered
into each others ears…
my dad would say
we communicated
through osmosis

the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.:

when we moved
to a new town
when i was 11
two girls would ride
their bikes each day
to my house and
knock on the door…
i would hide so
my mother could not
find me
and when i knew
they were gone
i would wander out
and my mother would say,
“ya know, sher, those girls
just want to be your friend…”

this terrified me
because it would mean
i had to speak
and since i was small
i had a horrible stutter.
i went to speech class
and my teachers name
and i am not kidding you,
Mrs. Butt!
that still makes me giggle…
i successfully made it
through school
speech classes
wedding vows
by learning
which words to avoid
and mostly how to breath…
on occasion i still stammer
when i am nervous or anxious.
when i first moved here to florida
i hated men,
doc tells the story
of how,
“everybody likes me…everyone stops
their cars and chats with me
when i am out front…but this one-
(pointing at me) NO!
she would drive by with her top down
hair flying
and not even look at me…”
this is so so so true!
if i knew he was near
i would run in my house
until the day
he came around the backside
of our streets loop
pulled in my driveway
and said,
as he pointed at my trees
“are those fox tails?”
i was rolling my hose up
when he spoke
and i was so startled
i looked at him and replied,
he just laughed
waved and thought to himself
‘well she is beautiful
but retarded!’
which brings me back to my
old neighbor of my childhood
Mrs. McQue
living alone
baking pies
and just happy !
as i think of her
i giggle
knowing one day
when i am old
and d has gone
home to the Lord
(yes, he gets to go first
because he’s older!)
i will get to be
my own Mrs. McQue
wandering aimlessly
singing loudly
in a house full
of dogs
canvas and paint
happy as any hermit crab
can be
knowing any day i rise,
if i don’t like where i live
i can change it
and no one will
say a word…