Annmarie Lockhart and Ray Sharp

Still Life, circa 1976

By Annmarie Lockhart

Response (poem and photo)


mosquito spray and chlorine

and hissing lights reflecting

off baselines and yellow

scuff, pong, scuff, pong,

scuff, scuff, “out!”

one summer of peace

and all the parents, still

coupled, playing doubles

right across from the

field they filled and froze

in winter for skating

like in the movies

before hockey teams

brought the year-round rink

before the family with the

long last name and the

long line of boys moved in

long before they hung

a cat off the bridge

that spanned summer

asphalt and winter pond


Home for the Holidays

By Ray Sharp

Inspiration Piece


Walking through the haunts of my youth,

along swollen streams that contour

the sinuous cleavage of limestone hills

thick with oak, hickory, ash,

beech, maple, tulip poplar,

dogwood, magnolia, and pine–


Goose Creek, Beargrass Creek,

Old Harrod’s Creek, Little Owl Creek,

and a thousand feeders

that percolate from caves and springs,

cold waters flowing unseen

like feelings you cannot articulate.


The farms have been subdivided

into one-acre lots

for two-income households

with three-car garages,

four bathrooms and five bedrooms each,


until all that remains

are the fence lines

where ghost horses run

along whitewashed sutures that stitch

fragmentary vestiges of the past.


It was this very place on LaGrange Road

where we came one Christmas, long ago,

to see a friend and wish him well.

When we called his mother,

she said John’s gone

to Central State to rest a spell.


There was the sting of wind-driven flurries,

the sudden heat of the linoleum hallway,

and a fear like bile rising in my throat.

I remember the heavy lidded stare

of sedation, mumbled words,

my friend’s efforts to cheer us all.


I could not bear to stay long,

but when we left the warmth

for the cold, outside world,

I wondered for the first time

who belonged inside the walls,


who beyond, and who decides,

where I would find

my home in the world,

and why we sometimes fear most

our own image reflected in leaded glass.


Now down Whipp’s Mill Road

and across North Hurstbourne Lane

to Hounz Lane, past the little park

where Dad and I played tennis

on hot summer nights.

I would run and run and run,


but he had a knack for flicking

one more shot just beyond my reach,

like a memory of bygone days,

so all I could do was watch it bounce,

one, two, three,

and dribble all the way to the fence.


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