Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi


(Front desk, Crossroads, GA)

The gay front-desk clerk
Was polite, efficient,
Courteous and smiling.

I thought he's into it--
The hospitality--
It's probably what he
Wanted--to be
The friendly face
Behind the desk.

Here he was
By peanut fields,
Red clay hills,
Oleander shrubs,
And kudzu vines.

His place was at this
Crossroad country town--
Blooming with
Hotel/motel chains,
Refueling stations,
Bistro branches,
Fast food franchises--
For the passerby--
All the multitudes
Staying over
Night, on their way
To someplace else.

Later, walking
Back from supper,
I saw him,
His work shift done.

There he was
By peanut fields,
Red clay hills,
Oleander shrubs,
And kudzu vines.

On his face
Hung anguish
And discontent
And fear of loss.

He had a position,
But where was his
Place among these
Cracked hillocks,
Viral vines,
Allergenic crops,
And decorative
Toxic flowers?


Let there be light
In waves like the folds of a flag rippling.
The sun rose off the eastern coast,
The breeze moved, stirring the waters.
The mangroves lifted their leaves sunward.

The ripples carried the light
That flickered on the rocks at water's edge,
That shimmered onto the hungry leaves
That flickered soft dark shadows
Intermittent with splashes of bright,
So the coastline pulsed
With dawn's early light.

The insects left the brush, fluttering,
The fish began jumping,
The water fowl--pumping
Their wings, flapping
And rising, stepping over the
Sun-glinted rippling pools--
Rose into the pulsing air.

Musical alarms of diverse rhythms
Broke the sleeping fasts of night.
Coffee makers percolated,
Dripping drops into filters.
Computers clicked on,
Beeping and flashing into life.

People stirred
First on the eastern coast,
Next across the central plains,
Then up and over the high mountains,
And finally on the western coast,
And so began America's day
In the dawn's early light.


Jerry Blanton, Homestead, Florida



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