In the Time of

By Elizabeth Esris


Wooden blinds filter late summer’s light;

voices of children from across the street

lance the heat of three o’clock.


Dishes done, the tumble of the dryer

finally stops, and one third of

Love in The Time of Cholera

waits on the couch.


How leaden my steps this August day;

how crippled my hands as they rummage

through layers of urges and intentions,

knotted rags of resistance,

remnants that might be useful.


Somewhere between stillness and Love

a chasm fills with faces faded by time,

walks not taken, the draft of a poem,

and quiescence.


I am distracted by a green thread

that slips from the back of the dog

as she rises and walks away.

The thread hangs in the air

for a moment as if safe,

then falls.

Elizabeth Esris taught secondary English and creative writing in Bucks County, PA for 23 years. Her poems have appeared in journals including Wild River Review, The Schuylkill Valley Journal, River Heron Review, and in France Revisited where a number of her travel articles appear. She wrote the libretto for Elegy for a Prince in collaboration with composer Sergio Cervetti; it premiered in excerpts at New York City Opera’s VOX Opera Showcase in 2007.