It was a Dark and Rainy Night at the Poetry Salon
where the featured reader, enamored with smiles and polite applause, forgets to take a break. When he says, Three or four more, I’m undone.
Off the sofa, over stretched out legs, passed glasses of wine caressed attentively in hands craftier than mine, I find the bathroom
unoccupied – except for a slow drip in the sink and a basket full of magazines. I could be content to spend the night in this retreat, muting the ahs
from the living room, tamping the groans of windows shivering from the rain. Here: submission calls, elegies for Broadway shows, photos of expiring worlds,
and, to my surprise, memories of a teenage girl hiding in the tub with For Whom the Bell Tolls. Entrenched in love scenes, she ignores candles
dripping down her birthday cake and giggles from a party game. A waste, she looks at me, this sweet sixteen surprise. Why ... but a determined rap
on the door announces a line flooding the hall. The girl commiserates. This, before I can ask if she’s heard of Ann Patchett and Bel Canto.
From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin is a lover of gardening and snorkeling, feral cats and backyard birds, writing and photography. Her poems have appeared in more than 130 journals and anthologies throughout North America, Australia, and the UK. Her fifth collection, The Catalog of Small Contentments, will be released in 2021. Currently, she is the poetry editor of Kosmos Quarterly: journal for global transformation. Find out more at www.carolynmartinpoet.com.