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Laura Newbern



The April Night


At the house of the famous writer

the irises in the deep grass

seemed to be listening.

In the deep twilight.

We in our folding chairs.

You in your powder-blue blazer, your pocket square

aglimmer; I looked to my right, past

the porch and into the glade

just a little away

where, tall as radar, floppy-lobed,

seven or so white irises

listened, and stared. They were not

clumped together, but standing

here and there, in their place

beneath the big tree. While one of us --

scholar, expert -- spoke; his voice

microphoned and lofting, hollowing

into the field full of spring

behind us, sinking

towards the old pond.


And when he was done,

and it grew dark and we rose

to mingle, and to softly start

to go home, there was a woman there --

long rippling hair, a white scarf

at her throat -- who lingered

a long time. Who was beautiful:

mild, middle-aged, unaccompanied.

Smiling, and bright.

Who stood close to us.

And wanted to know our names.




Devorah Baum

Adachioma Ezeano

A. C. Grayling

Rebecca Priestley

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