Looking out the tall schoolroom window,
close by I see the rough bark on the thick trunk
and sturdy branches of an old oak tree, its emerald
leaves dangling down, rippling in bursts of early autumn wind.
Just beyond, though out of sight, lies the road,
and I watch a man in a blue T-shirt pedal by on his bicycle and
a couple of cars drive slowly by, heeding the school zone sign.
On the other side of the street stands a red brick church guarded
by a stately fir, bright under the noon-day sun.
A squirrel scurries up the steps that have become worn by the
feet of the faithful over the years, circles the white pillars,
and calmly pauses beside green vines spilling out of a concrete planter.
The white doors are closed, and the steeple is blocked from my view
by the tree outside the window, yet the little church beckons me
to still my rushing thoughts in the midst of the busy day,
pausing as the scampering squirrel did, for a peaceful moment.