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Dick Westheimer

Dick Westheimer has—with his wife and writing companion Debbie—lived on their plot of land in rural southwest Ohio for over 40 years. His most recent poems have appeared or are upcoming in Rattle, Paterson Review, Whale Road Review, Minyan, Gyroscope Review, and Cutthroat. His chapbook, A Sword in Both Hands: Poems Responding to Russia’s War on Ukraine, is forthcoming from Sheila-Na-Gig Editions.

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The Longing That Lodges in Us

I can relate to the rover on Mars
alone and busy much of the day,

its duties and mine not so different—
each of us alike in our quiet, both listening

as the wind blows lonely over our homes—
we persevere in our work—

it digging in dirt, me searching for words,
both corresponding in bits and bytes

and neither knowing of the longing
that lodges in us. The rover picks up the hum

of its ‘copter partner—the blades stirring thin air—
as it returns from a scouting run. And I hear

the gravel grind under my lover’s car tires
when she drives up our lane.

If the roving robot had a heart,
its would leap like mine.


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