by Lowell Murphree
After LF

I am waiting as we
spend evening together.
Your laptop clicking away, white on black / black on white
to the rhythm of the sleeping dog’s spasmodic heave and
an unseen clock ticking down the hours dipped in longing for
a new rebirth of wonder.

I am still waiting while
My fingers caress an exhausted phone where
silent pixels dance for attention.
And a sprite child
appears in my reflection dancing,
petulant, impatient to be noticed, weeping
silently for a rebirth of wonder.

I am still waiting as
shared air grows warm and crowded with
dreams and disappointments,
fattened and starved in season, returning
in this dusk like cattle to their barns
whose soft breath carries the scent
of a visceral rebirth of wonder.

I am still waiting while dark
drafts seep in at the windows and
ceiling lights squeeze a last drop
from rind of day and a linen
tablecloth, carefully folded,
defends its barren countertop against
the messy onslaught of a
rebirth of wonder.

PAINTING: Three Cows by Alex Katz (1981).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My writing is first for myself, then for people I know and love. I write as honestly as I can using spare language and tactile imagery. Form emerges as the poem takes shape. This prompt brought me to the imaginative space of a couple at home waiting for night and all that implies. It was initially written in the third person but shifted to first person as part of the discipline of the prompt. I am indebted to Professor Al Filreis and the community of people involved in the free and open MOOC, Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, from the University of Pennsylvania through the Coursera platform who have been unfailingly encouraging. For years, I called myself a writer of poems. Recently, I have begun to think of myself as perhaps a poet. We’ll see.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lowell Murphree lives and writes in the Kittitas Valley of Washington State. He has had two poems published by Silver Birch Press in previous series. Though he has been writing poetry since childhood, retirement has allowed more focus on writing than his years as a pastor and a development officer in higher education. Lowell has one chapbook titled Bindings privately published as a PDF in 2014 by Hazard Press, in the United Kingdom and available by individual request.