The Poetic Hill


Originally from Germany, Eva Schiffer has lived on the Hill for more than a decade. She says she moved here from West Africa for work—and stayed for love. For as long as she can remember, she has processed her experiences in the world by writing. Currently, her “sacred” poetry-writing time is her commute: 20 minutes on the Metro, where nobody asks anything from her. Schiffer’s inspiration comes from the ordinary things in life: her garden, her city, her travels, her children, and her work in international development. More of her poetry can be found at

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

Visionary Squirrels

When they see my
front yard,
my square foot garden,
my ramshackle assembly
of pots with herbs and
fast growing radishes,
they see what is possible
and beyond.

They dream of
a lush oak forest
right by my front door
and relentlessly plant
acorns in all of my pots
digging up my timid
sprouts of spinach
and fall carrots,
because they know,
their grandchildren
will not jump
from one carrot crown
to the next,
in delicious freedom.

As I dream of the sun
filtering through
the dense canopy
I forget
to chase them away.