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Thursday, December 31, 2009

NEW YEAR'S EVE 1941

by Thomas Reynolds


Two chairs put together
Make a bed.

The father’s coat,
Dusty from the train,
A blanket.

Logs in the fireplace
the murmur of thoughts—
working far from home,
the silence of an empty room—
trying to settle.

The boy’s even breath,
Still an hour till midnight ,
A gentle wind
Blowing though
The window inside
The father’s chest.

The beating
Of his aging heart
A visitor knocking
On the cabin door
Of his childhood home
That none can open,
For which no key exists.

The father’s right hand a map
To towns that
No longer exist,
Landscapes that
Roll on forever
Like flashing lights
Past train windows,
which only darkness
Can remember.


Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, The Cape Rock, Flint Hills Review, Falling Star Magazine, Ariga, American Western Magazine, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, Strange Horizons, Combat, The Green Tricycle, Muscadine Lines-A Southern Journal, Farsight Magazine, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008.
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