June 3-9, 2024: Poetry from L. Lois and Emily Black

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L. Lois

L. Lois lives in an urban hermitage where trauma-informed themes flow during walks by the ocean. She is pivoting through her grandmother-era, figuring out why her bevy of adult children don’t have babies, nor time. Her essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, her recent poetry In Parentheses and Woodland Pattern.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by L. Lois and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Confusing Heroes

Chuck Feeney
died
this week

which strikes me
odd, given I
thought he was already gone

I read his
biography
and marveled

at the same time
I found out Buffet had
Charlie Munger

and I wondered why
white men had
the corner

on quiet corners in the back
modest living
generous giving

while I still answer
to the ones I
know

who want to look powerful
in front of someone,
so they picked me

Emily Black

Emily Black, the second woman to graduate in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida, had a long engineering career, the only woman in a sea of men. She recently began writing poetry and is published in numerous journals. Her first poetry book, “The Lemon Light of Morning,” was published by Bambaz Press in 2022. Her second book, “We Feed Dragons to the Moon,” was published, also by Bambaz Press, in March 2024. Emily wears Fire Engine Red Lipstick.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Emily Black and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Midnight in London

We were staying at the Sloane Club. A fire
alarm had awakened us from a sound winter’s
sleep as it clanged an urgent warning. A refined
English voice calmly poured

from the loudspeaker directing all club guests
to descend by way of the stairs and exit the front
door. We grabbed our coats, slipped into our shoes
and headed out.

It was cold, but not freezing, as guests mingled
about on the sidewalk jabbering with each other
in an excited way, trying to keep our teeth
from chattering.

The moment seemed festive, like a New Year’s
Eve street party. We talked with a young woman
wrapped in nothing more than a towel. She’s
from the States. My husband gallantly took off

his coat and offered it to her. She beamed us
a radiant smile as she slipped into his coat.
A fireman came out and announced it was
a false alarm

and we could go back into the building. We never
saw my husband’s coat again. It was his favorite,
a three-quarter length London Fog, plus his gloves
were in the pocket.

 

I Was Just a Passenger on that Train

for Blake, bartender at Poogan’s Porch
in Charlestown, SC, January 2024

Sitting at the bar, we watched our bartender
stir a couple of drops of walnut bitters
into a Manhattan with a long-handled spoon.

This made me think of the Sazerac
cocktail my husband was drinking
in New Orleans at 7:30 in the morning

when he proposed to me. We happily
relayed this story, to which he replied
No Sazerac cocktails here.

We don’t have any absinthe. A lively
conversation about absinthe ensued
and I remarked, We used to bring absinthe

back from France before it was legal here.
Well, he said, it’s not the same, ya’ know.
Tastes different abroad.

It’s the wormwood, I ventured to say. Exactly,
he confirmed. No wormwood in what we get here,
but, I drank the real stuff on a train to Bangkok;

thought I might as well live a little, make
my trip even more of an adventure. As we
sipped our drinks, my husband and I pondered

visions of a train racing across Thailand.
I saw it as being at night, a romantic night
with moonlight glinting through the carriage

windows. I could see the glass sparkling in his
slender hand. We were all silent for a moment
and then he said wistfully,

I was just a passenger on that train.

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