Category: Poetry

Show Time

By Kathryn Paulsen

Posted on

Somehow I thought he’d want to do
different things from what they used to do
together here.  But no, a show,
a big Broadway musical show,
is his choice for tonight.  Yes,
there are tickets.  I was half-hoping not.
And wishing in vain that it was May, not December,
and we were buying for three.

That last spring night we had clear hope
we watched Guys and Dolls in her hospital room.
Though we’d missed the beginning, and her favorite song,
we watched till the end.
She nodded off,
as she always did at home before the tube,
head on his shoulder,
but nodded back in,
to say, surprised, in her everyday voice,
“It’s good,” letting us believe
she was on the mend.

After that, she had just three days more,
and only one in which
she could say a word.

Fifty years, Dad would say,
with wonder in his voice,
that after a whole half-century
he couldn’t have kept her with him
for the whole show.

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By Jim Trainer

Posted on

this poetry has been my life’s challenge

and I rose to it every time

this poetry the arena I boldly entered

and I am fighting still

I’m not quite sure I’ve imagined

locked doors of academia

but their thousand reasons

to do something else with my life

are very real

I owe it all to poetry

it was my access to the inner life

it pitted me in front of 

the firing squad of time

gave the muse a fire escape

she could climb

in just an overcoat and heels


it gave me the words to rent law

and it drove the characters to collide


this clacking of keys into big dumb night

tumblers catching on a lockbox of heart

containing all the hunger,

the lightning

the way.


Jim Trainer

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