Bio Note: I am grateful for the friendships I have made through Verse Virtual. I am usually working on 7-11 poems at a time, and flash fiction is often in the mix. New ideas often arrive when I am stuck doing something else. Recent publications include The Thieving Magpie, Rockvale Review, and Montana Mouthful.
1723 Asbury Avenue
When I saunter past the Victorian of my 1960’s upbringing past the bay-windowed chamber from which I viewed the street, past the maples twice its height posted either side sentry, spot the Girl Scout in sash seated on the porch swing I imagine she might listen to NPR like I did, write dramas in the secret nook under the stairs, race from pie to hopscotch before twilight’s curtain. Where are they all now - those girls who followed me in the generations after, who played Chinese Checkers, dunked Oreos in milk mugs, drew with Cray-Pas after school? So many childhoods that happened in this same house as mine did and I don’t know who they are nor what memories they wear, but our hair tangles together; we bang elbows and knees; our ghost shoulders rub when in sleep we roll over to our going-home dreams
On Ellen's Porch
Halfway Between My House
and Wingra Park
So much a homebody that if I spend two whole days going no farther than what I can see from my 3rd story window, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. When I flew across the Atlantic, I was jealous of the bus driver navigating Edinburgh traffic because he had his routine. When somebody tells me they are off to Palm Springs or Manhattan for the weekend, of course it sounds la-di-da to me the way cruises and vodka gimlets do but I’m content to watch snow melt into muddy rivulets off my own patio, arms of burr oaks stretching patiently towards spring, a slice of buttered toast waiting on the kitchen counter. It’s one reason I hop a plane: for that moment I board one heading back, and it finally dips and lowers towards my adopted town.
I Find Out You Are Almost
a Generation Older Than Me
Not something I suspected, just a fact I stumbled on half- a-decade into our often-daily trade of schemes, ideas, notions, a cascade of updates, then weighty reconsiderations; we, co-conspirators bouncing words for the stage, the page, the podium forth and back till they launched themselves. If a gap in age existed it was no consequence, not like in childhood when alliances were forged only if you shared the same grade. But now I know you are the age neither of my grandfathers made it to, both of them sinewy shadows in final photographs taken shortly after I was born which means what we have is a luxury – but not one to squander for we are both in those years when the drawbridge starts to lift, the rope tighten, and dusk continually flips to dawn quickly, then quicker like a child’s deck of wooden slats attached with ribbon clacking together towards the ground, end over end.
Originally published in I-70 Review Summer/Fall 2013
©2021 Shoshauna Shy
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