Photo 518“And indeed there will be time” —T.S. Eliot

After the happy hour,
when the night is thinking
of coming down and the eaters
are scurrying into the restaurant,
when the last brawlers
of the late afternoon have
hung their sheepish heads
out of the bar and the evening
waiters have sent in
their replacements and the helpers
have washed the lettuce
leaves and the carrots
are chopped and covered,

when the sun braises
the treetops and the wind
wraps the edges of all
that is material and all that is not,
in a loud voice or in quiet
whispers, in whimpers
or tail-thumping greetings,

without malice and without
mischief, internally, in
this town where tonight
folks gather on a stadium’s track
and candles are lit and where
yesterday families grieved
the single loss again, where last
weekend women marched
and where or when
the peonies bloom and are blooming
and the clematis bursts
against vine and is fading and
is blooming, where the wrens
are considering an old house
they know of over near the garage,

the couple (the she and he at the axis
of this poem) think forward
in their courtyard to a fire
they might build to take the slight
wind’s chill off the night

sometime in a little while
after the sun settles down
when the planets will beam
in a deep sky and the gazanias will close
and the small brown dog will nestle
into her lap while the cat settles
comma-like into a chair and he
closes his eyes and leans one elbow
on the table, or perhaps they’re thinking
how instead they’ll go inside

because little insects
have begun to appear on their arms
and after all, it’s only Friday
and there will be other days
for fire and rest and thought
after some other vaguely happy
hour or little minute on this patio
or on some other.

– Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky.

– April’s Guest Editor, Roy Beckemeyer, edits scientific journals and writes poetry and essays. His poems have most recently been accepted by or appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Straylight, The North Dakota Quarterly, Nebo, Mikrokosmos, Coal City Review, and The Lyric.  He lives in Wichita, Kansas and has degrees from St. Louis University, Wichita State University, and The University of Kansas.

He notes: “In the poem series I have chosen for April, I have  focused on works that define our sense of Time and Place by the people we know, the people we interact with, the people we live with. “

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