I leave my office in the library
and walk around campus
travel concrete paths
past buildings of iron and brick
and greet the trees along the way,
learn their names,
watch the light and wind
through their leaves and branches
summer, winter, spring, and fall.

When it is too cold to go outside
on bitter winter days
I walk inside
where the trees are books
leaning on each other
beside my path
filled with colors, smells, sounds,
and they are dead
until someone opens one up
to read it.

Ruby R. Wilson, ©2012, from Campus Sketches. “Briggs Library Geraniums,” photo by Ruby R. Wilson



I hoped for a windmill

for our small acreage

We wondered if the ones we saw

at abandoned farmsteads

as we traveled to and from work

could be for sale.

Finally Jim and the boys built one

about twelve feet tall

out of angle iron and sheets of steel

for Mother’s Day.

I can see it from the kitchen window

as I make coffee in the morning

and through the glass door at supper-time.


When we moved Dad back from Arizona

at first he was so glad to be home

he stood and watched the windmill turn

in the landscape of prairie.

I heard “Don’t Fence Me In”

when I watched him grow restless

complain about being kept a prisoner here,

in the Veterans Home, then the nursing home

his memory slipping away

“Do I have grandchildren?”


We found the windmill mangled

upon our return from a trip —

fan blades lost and twisted

by strong south winds.

Today, Jim took off the fan

to repair in the shop.

The tail of the windmill

swings, tells us still

which way the wind blows.


Ruby R. Wilson, ©2014, from At the Rim of the Horizon, Finishing Line Press. “Windmill in Summer,” photo by Ruby R. Wilson.

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