"Duckweed" by Richard Luftig

September 1, 2018



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: RichardLuftig.com.

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