Published on Academy of American Poets (


Outside my window it’s never the same—
some mornings jasmine slaps the house, some mornings sorrow.

There is a word I overheard today, meaning lost
not on a career path or across a floating bridge:

Boketto—to stare out windows without purpose.
Don’t laugh; it’s been too long since we leaned

into the morning: bird friendly coffee and blueberry toast. Awhile
since I declared myself a prophet of lost cats—blind lover

of animal fur and feral appetites. Someone should tag
a word for the calm of a long marriage. Knowledge

the heat will hold, and our lights remain on— a second
sight that drives the particulars of a life: sea glass and salt,

cherry blossoms and persistent weeds. What assembles in the middle
distance beyond the mail truck; have I overlooked oceans,

ignored crows? I try to exist in the somehow, the might still be—
gaze upward to constellations of in-between.


Copyright © 2016 by Susan Rich. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 10, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The Japanese word, Boketto, describes something so familiar to me, it’s as if a piece of myself has been returned. I’ve altered the definition by including that the ‘gazing without purpose’ needs to happen by a window.”
—Susan Rich


Susan Rich

Susan Rich is the author of Cloud Pharmacy (White Pine Press, 2014).

Date Published: 2016-06-10

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