“The Poet Vinje’s Home Plassen in Telemark,” oil on canvas, by Christian Skredsveg, 1887.

by John Glowney

And the gray patches of sky over the house today
are nothing that a fresh coat of paint and some lilacs
wouldn’t fix.

Violets, tulips, fuchsia nicely arranged
in the cloud-beds,

and the sun, a slovenly ex-con
wandering the rooms after breakfast
looking for cigarettes.

And the wind blowsy in the trees
cluttering the air with the smell of fresh mown grass
and gasoline
and sparrows
like the change in your trousers scattered
on a patch of sidewalk.

No politics, just a silence so clear
you could polish it,

or maybe somebody could sing it,
some gorgeous voice
like a breeze

drifting off an old-fashioned record,

floating all day
above the scuff of static.

John Glowney is a graduate of the University of Michigan. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Catamaran, The Baltimore Review, Cider Press Review, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, Poetry Northwest’s Richard Hugo Prize, and the Poetry Society of American’s Robert H. Winner’s Memorial Award. He lives in Seattle.