Erica Steinweg


One tiny brown blossom
among the crowd of lilacs
outside my kitchen door.

I saw it out of the corner
of my eye
and caught
how my heart broke
just a little bit.

Strange how
one small
dying thing can cut me.

A purple playground
for bumbling bees—
I’ve adored these flowers.
Their scent stops me
in my rush to the car.
I cannot walk by without taking delight
in the overgrown limbs
a more sensible person
would surely have chopped, and cropped,
and contained.

Now, as I look closely,
I see wilting everywhere—
brown bits crinkle the edges
of many clusters, and some bunches
hang dry, dark, slack.

Nothing amiss.
Just the natural waning of all things worldly.
But I feel this like a stone
in the center of my chest.

Every April
the thought flits through my mind—
What if this breath
of springtime ephemera
is my last?


Erica Steinweg

Erica Steinweg’s practice is primarily in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. For the past several years meditating everyday has become as central to her life as eating and sleeping. She has been on numerous silent meditation retreats and studies regularly with her teacher, Chas DiCapua. She feels that poetry comes from listening, sensing, and connecting—all of which are nurtured by contemplative practices.

Erica Steinweg lives, writes, hikes, and teaches yoga in Northeastern Ohio. Her poetry and memoir pieces have been seen in The American Journal of Nursing, Sunbeams, Awake in the World (Vol. 1), The Mindful Word, Walloon Writer’s Review (Vols. 2 and 3), The Sun, and Family Celebrations edited by June Cotner.

More on Erica Steinweg’s work can be found on our Links page.

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