The Poetic Hill

February 2018


After 44 years of practicing law, James C. Brady decided to return to pursuits about which he was once passionate: painting, sculpting, and writing. “There is a calmness to the artistic efforts that is not so readily found in the search for courtroom victories and municipal governance,” he writes. It was seeing a poem in the Hill Rag, he says, that “awakened a long-dormant memory of that other time… and by doing so suggests to all of us: We can go home again and, just maybe, they will take you in.” He and his wife, Neysa Rich, have been part-time residents of Capitol Hill for 25 years.


This was a day of plastering
And finding the little things
We like about our new house;
Of searching couch crevices
For the treasures of others;
Of testing mattresses
For just the right one.

It is a day all done up in
New paint, perfumed in linseed;
One cut of old memories, tied to new.
A day when you are no longer
Down the street, along the track
No, this day there is no time when
I am made to take you back.

You are, in my too big shirt
Hung low over delicate shoulders,
A real neighbor, now, ready to
Breathe my air and I yours.
This is what makes a home, you know.
Soon, we will grow to look alike;
We almost do, now, in some ways.


If you would like to have your poem considered for publication, please send it to [email protected] (There is no remuneration.)