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"Duckweed" by Richard Luftig


The smallest flowering plant.

Last night,

A full moon

In the bedroom


This morning,

Winter sunlight

Bathes the southern


I have worried

About living

This short life

For so long

And still

It remains,

This house

Of half-done things.

But the duckweed

Out at the fringes

Knows how

To survive,

Knows how a single

Root can cover

The pond

With flowers.

And down by

The drought-

Drawn creek,

Old cedars

And pines

Along the banks,

The tendrils

Of their roots

Searching for

The meaning

Of life, have

Not yet learned

That we are

So destined

To come up

Dry yet


To live

In our own

Innocent worlds

Like sparrows

Among sweet

Grass in the presence

Of a hawk.


Richard Luftig is a former professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio and now resides in California. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Asia. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and two of his poems recently appeared in Realms of the Mothers: The First Decade of Dos Madres Press. His latest book of poems will be forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2019. More of his poetry, blog and other information can be found on his website:

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