“The Patience of Ordinary Things”

            I don’t read much poetry.  But sometimes I find a poem that speaks to me.  I recently came across this one in a handout from a writing class I took last winter:

It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

I’ve reread it often in the last few days. It helps me pause and find a surprising appreciation for cups, chairs, floors, shoes, clothes, closets, soap, towels, and stairs.  And windows.

            I’m sitting at my desk looking out the window at our front yard and the street.  This window has been here 28 years and I never paid attention to it. But now, if I tell my busy brain to pause for just a moment, I see the window as generous and patient.  What a gift!

            From where you are at this moment, what patient, ordinary things do you see?


Painting: Window of Vincens, by Henri Matisse

[i] From Another River: New and Selected Poems by Pat Schneider (Amherst Writers and Artists Press, 2005)


  1. elsakaye says:

    What a unique and delightful poem. And such a good way to start out my day with appreciation of my cup holding my coffee and my easy chair holding my not quite wake body;


  2. peterandsuzannebrown@gmail.com says:

    Steve I love it Patience is the essence of what we are living right now Xo Suzanne

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Karen L Stancer says:

    Wonderful poem! It’s so easy to lose sight of our blessings no matter how large or small. Thanks for raising awareness once again!


  4. Nancy says:

    I am looking at my old, quiet, sleeping dog and marvel at her contentment with a limited life. She doesn’t move much, go places, or play, but when she’s awake she looks out that window and smiles.


    1. Beautifully said, Nancy.


  5. Cragg Gilbert says:



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