by Allison Chaney

The great city

Left their bickerings

To taste the luscious feasts

Of golden prosperity

To drink the wine of May

To trod the highway exulted

Pure, brave and pink of cheek

SOURCE: “The Wine of May” by Allison Chaney is based on a page from F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s short story “May Day.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allison Chaney is a Los Angeles native, working on her second master’s degree at Mount St. Mary’s College. After eight years of teaching high school, she decided to devote her life to a literary career. Currently, she spends her days revising her first novel, writing voraciously, and mentoring teen writers. Her recent publications include a poetry chapbook, Queen Me (Poehemian Press), and a short story, “Somerset” (Tiny Tales of Terror). Outside of writing and reading literature, Allison loves classic Hollywood films, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends. To learn more, visit her website.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I set out to find a May piece that spoke to me. I started with my bookshelves. Shocked I could not find at least my copy of Little Women, I continued exploring. I combed them with my eyes and fingers, once, then twice, then three times, nothing. At the end of this unsuccessful excavation, my eyes stopped on my collection of Fitzgerald works, and I remembered that I’d once read a story of his called “May Day.” I quickly typed in the title online and found a copy of it. I printed out three copies. The Great City instantly became the subject. I let my eyes fly to the words that wanted to join the city. Several versions came about — a funeral, a trodding of the poor, but in the end a story of peace came about. It is a brave thing for just one person to stand up for harmony, but the idea of all of us doing so in our great city spoke to me. I committed to my word choices, read them again and again. I erased by graying out the words around my selection, re-printing the page and then shading around the poem in harmony with its theme. I attempted a wine glass but it somehow came out looking like a chalice. I’d say think golden chalice of Arthurian legend perhaps. Drinking the springtime and its newness sounds like a good plan to me. A big thanks to Silver Birch Press for setting me on this task a few days ago and to Fitzgerald for having such a way with words. I had a lot of fun doing this.