22 April, 2021: Walking to Work
Read a Poem
Walking to Work
By Joanne Lehman
You walked to work
on freeze cracked asphalt
to the dead winter town,
its blank storefronts
and shopkeepers who
don’t de-ice the sidewalks.
There were some tears—
not from stinging wind.
And a prayer on your vapor breath
to see the Father. . .
Here in a stone urn on a low step
with its dead ageratum and geranium,
remnant of dusty miller, frosted lamb’s ear . . .
underfoot and in the road,
a granite puddle of slush—
overhead, a dozen shrieking crows
holding electric wires
in their icy claws.
Father, just show up.
What is a prayer but these steps—
one after the other up
the long steep hill,
past the Millersburg Ice Company?
"Walking to Work" by Joanne Lehman, from Fountain Nook. Orchard Street Press. 2018. Used by permission of the author.
Joanne Lehman recently retired from teaching English at University of Akron Wayne College and Malone University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Ashland University and a BA in Communication Arts from Malone College. Joanne's first chapbook, Morning Song, won the 1994 Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University. Her two additional poetry books are Driving in the Fog (Finishing Line, 2012) and Fountain Nook (Orchard Street, 2018), and prose books are Kairos and Traces of Treasure (Herald P 2004, 1995). Joanne lives with her husband Ralph Lehman in Wooster, Ohio, and is working on a new novel.
Write a Poem
Write a poem in a non-geometric shape. This is an old form, sometimes called a Carmina Figurata, and you can find an example online by searching Google Images for “An Old Fiddler’s Ode to His Old Fiddle.” John Ciardi has written many, one in the shape of a concert piano.