I read a Wendell Berry poem this morning, “They Sit Together on the Porch.”  It reminded me of how it should be for people who have shared their lives for decades.  Ten years ago when Mrs. tVM and I lived on the edge of the Saguaro National Park with little light pollution, we abandoned the television to sit in the backyard every evening and wait for the first star to appear, then the second, the third, fourth and fifth… it was a great way to spend the quiet desert evenings.  We’re poised to do it again.

Mitakuye Oyasin

They Sit Together on the Porch
Wendell Berry

They sit together on the porch, the dark

Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.

Their supper done with, they have washed and dried

The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,

Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.

She sits with her hands folded in her lap,

At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,

And when they speak at last it is to say

What each one knows the other knows. They have

One mind between them, now, that finally

For all its knowing will not exactly know

Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding

Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.

by Wendell Berry, “They Sit Together on the Porch” from A Timbered Choir. ©1998 Counterpoint Press.


Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Wow…. This is wonderful to read, Gene!! It’s like Wendell Berry has been watching Ernie and me, and apparently You and Marie, as we spend many quiet moments on Our Porch!!
    It made me Smile…. and Cry ! It’s so Beautifully, and so poiniently presented !! Thanks for sharing these wonderful words to ponder !!

    1. My favorite way to spend an evening is out on the lanai watching the stars com into view as the sky darkens.

      1. I think it is a practice that can help unite the world, a practice that goes way beyond national boundaries. I’m reminded of Neil Diamond’s beautiful words in his 1970 song “Done Too Soon” … “We have sweated beneath the same sun, looked up and wondered at the same moon…”