The Wind Watchers

The Wind Watchers

(for Mom and Natalia)


years ago, my mother tried to show

me the invisible—

“look there, do you see?

… look at the wind!”

from our house steps, she pointed

a twig that the breezy autumn day

forced her to hold evermore tightly,

so much so, she looked like a queen

wielding her scepter’s crown towards

leaves and red dirt all astir until our

whole yard leapt into dancing dusters,

brown-orange-yellow whirls

and tiny twisters …

times change, so do people and their

geographies—today’s big city is not

our yesterday’s countryside, and at 89,

I have different eyes than I had at 11,

but looking around me, I still see

what I saw then, what I now try

to show my granddaughter

“do you see the wind?” —

 people situated at friendly

and unfriendly distances … that woman,

there, eyes glued to wrists bound by seconds,

minutes, hours …

teens crowding out of school doors,

waving “later,” gales of laughter in their wake …

those women chattering up a storm

while hawking each other’s groceries—one’s scarf,

the crisp peat of leaves, pressed against her ears …

business men hefting briefcases,

smoking hotdogs … that writer’s pen sailing

across a page, keeping time to the billow, flap,

and flutter of our coattails as a long-awaited

cab pulls in curbside … 

while an equally-awaited bus swerves    

into its nearby berth …                                           

 I point a finger—a grandmother’s

scepter—at the whirligig of life

in concert … “do you see?”                                                

my practical one points her

own pinky-scepter, “just you, me,                                        

and a bunch of people are all I see …”

“no, not us,” I profess what

I know she’ll one day remember

at some prescient moment like this,

“the wind, Precious One, the wind

is what we’re doing”



Olga Dugan


Olga Dugan is a Cave Canem poet. Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, her award-winning poems are forthcoming or appear in Channel (Ireland), Grand Little Things, Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, E-Verse Radio, The Windhover, The Sunlight Press, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Southern Quarterly, Kweli, Ekphrastic Review, Tipton Poetry, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Peacock Journal, Origins, Poems from Pandemia – An Anthology, Cave Canem Anthology: XIII, and Red Moon Anthology of Modern English Haiku. Articles on poetry and cultural memory appear in The Journal of African American History, The North Star, and in Emory University's “Meet the Fellows.” 


  1. heartfelt and vital work meant remind us of our humanity

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