Carol Smallwood

Passage Triptych

Each time I enter, the feel is different: is it the conversation
or light from the windows? I come the same time every day
to look at the menu, order the same leafy vegetation.
Each time I enter, the feel is different: is it the conversation
that soothes, bestowes a needed daily validation
keeping me apart and yet letting me be part of the fray?
Each time I enter, the feel is different: is it the conversation
or light from the windows? I come the same time every day.

My cup today was Happy Meal size—an open book
with pictures of flying things filled with melting ice.
It is good to have a place to go once a day and not cook;
my cup today was Happy Meal size—an open book.
I’ve made a booth under a hanging lamp my own nook
where I study passing customers who seldom look twice.
My cup today was Happy Meal size—an open book
with pictures of flying things filled with melting ice.

Leaving, I saw the store’s name plainly on the floor,
large letters from the lobby window blocked by sun
and would check for them tomorrow near the door.
Leaving, I saw the store’s name plainly on the floor
like sundials our ancestors widely set such store—
marking the sun’s passage was very widely done.
Leaving, I saw the store’s name plainly on the floor,
large letters from the lobby window blocked by sun.

***

Carol Smallwood returned to college to take creative writing classes and has founded humane societies. Her 2017 books include: In Hubble’s Shadow (Shanti Arts); Prisms, Particles, and Refractions (Finishing Line Press); Interweavings: Creative Nonfiction (Shanti Arts); Library Outreach to Writers and Poets: Interviews and Case Studies of Cooperation; Gender Issues and the Library: and Case Studies of Innovative Programs and Resources (McFarland). A Matter of Selection (Poetic Matrix Press, 2018) is her most recent poetry collection.

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