“Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill”

This post was originally published when I was thrilled to have a new poem up at Nine Muses Poetry. This poem was written about my occasional time spent writing poetry at Magpie’s and named, appropriately, “Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill.” The journal is long-since out of business, but before that happened the editor, Annest Gwilym, nominated this poem for Best of the Net.

I decided to open my book Rooted and Winged with the poem because it fit so well my theme of the tension between the metaphorical desire to fly and our earth-bound lives.

Since the poem can no longer be found at the site of the journal, here it is:

Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill

Flickering afternoon light slatted and parsed.

At 3PM, the booths empty except for me

and my notebook.

Would I notice if not for my companion,

my need to recognize and remember?

Without a record, will I hear the ice crashing

into the sink, the Dodger talk at the bar

at the end of the room under the Miller Lite

neon confident and beckoning?

My mother used to say about me,

In one ear and out the other, as if the words

flowed through me without stopping,

without truly entering me, leaving little

effect, as if I had no memory

of all the little parental transgressions.

Why am I not under the sycamore I spot

through the blinds in this Tuesday sunshine

listening to the very song with the shady tree?

What have I done with my life? When

I should have written a poem, I didn’t.

When I did, I didn’t get it quite right.

How can a poem do so many things:

wishing for the shade and thirsty for a beer,

feeling an urge to move my pen and noting

the tiny feet and brush of cuticle,

the solitary fly on my bare arm, while

imagining the chattering of the birds that swoop

from sycamore to jacaranda as if the parking lot

and dumpsters and broken bottles don’t exist.

No matter what I notice,

no matter what I record, I will never

capture the ease of wind-filled wings,

tail feathers a translucent backlit fan,

as my hollow bones jettison the detritus

to fly upward against the source.


Filed under #AmWriting, #writerslife, Poetry, Publishing, Writing

21 responses to ““Tuesday Afternoon at Magpie’s Grill”

  1. I loved this, Luanne! Congratulations!

  2. I sometimes see and hear myself in your poems – this is one of those.

  3. So much to savour and identify with in your poem, Luanne, like this –
    “What have I done with my life? When
    I should have written a poem, I didn’t.
    When I did, I didn’t get it quite right.”
    and then the wonderful final 5 lines. You make self-doubt a beautiful thing – but contrary to your words, I believe you also captured the ease.

  4. I love the poem, Luanne. Congratulations!

  5. Enjoyed it very much! Congratulations!

  6. Loved this one, too, Luanne! And congrats on another published work!!

  7. Congratulations, Luanne. I really like this one–I can imagine myself in this place and with these thoughts swirling through my head.

  8. Like so many others, I identify with this poem. These lines especially: “Would I notice if not for my companion,
    my need to recognize and remember?” Writing is my way of remembering not just facts but feelings, moods. And the last few lines just go to show that you do “get it right.” 🙂❤️

  9. Big congrats, Luanne, glad to hear you’ve received some recognition!

  10. I love this poem so much, Luanne! Certainly, it is one of your best. Shivers/gooseflesh at the end! Congratulations.

  11. This one is so relatable, Luanne. How can I notice/think/remember/soar if I don’t write it down? Loved it!

  12. I miss having somewhere to go and write watching people I don’t know inspire. Love the poem.

  13. Ellen

    So nice! The world we create by what we notice and what we don’t.

Leave a Reply