Spring on the Alley
Sharp sun cut the April cold, opened daffodils
all over the Northside,
spread the art students over the alleys
and on curbs of the red brick street--
holding pads, pencils and eyes on the move.
Behind my old Model-T garage
Eugenia graced the gravel, sketching
the multi-unit white storage shed
where Tom housed trucks and toilets.\
I showed off my blue writing pencils— F grade.
She showed the same pencils, just harder tip,
not wanting a full shaded shed, only imply
it, hoping the viewer could fill in.
Like verse, I said.
Harold, a landscape artist down three garages,
played at bagging rotted leaves
next to another student, a lefty, lining out the rot.
Catty-corner from my garage Bud dropped a wrench
and yelled if she knew Edward Hopper.
Eugenia said for class models they had raptors.
Mike Lewis-Beck writes from Iowa City. He has pieces in American Journal of Poetry, Alexandria Quarterly, Apalachee Review, Big Windows Review, Cortland Review, Chariton Review, Guesthouse, Pure Slush, Pilgrimage, Rootstalk, Seminary Ridge Review, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, Writers’ Café and Wapsipinicon Almanac, among other venues. His short story, “Delivery in Göteborg,” won a Finalist prize from Chariton Review, 2015. “My Cherry Orchard in Iowa,” was named a ‘Notable Essay’ in Best American Essays 2011. He has a book of poems, Rural Routes, recently published by Alexandria Quarterly Press.
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