by Richard Stuecker
​©2020 Cormac Power                                                                                                     
IG: @cormac.pow
Richard Stuecker is a poet and writer who graduated from Duke University in 1970. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he holds an MFA from the Bluegrass Writer’s Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Birminghan Arts, CabrilloCourtship of the WindsTipton Poetry ReviewTildeFormer PeoplePegasusMain Street RagOtherwise EngagedPoetica ReviewRed Coyote and District Lit; his creative nonfiction has been published in HippocampusConnotation PressBrilliant Flash Fiction, CramboLouisville MagazineFleas on the Dog and Delmarva Review.  Additionally, his book reviews have appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal and a collection of essays on conscious aging, Vibrant Emeritus, was published in 2014 by John Hunt Publishing (London). A chapbook of poems will be published by Kelsay Press in 2020
A Single Rose Unfurls

A single rose unfurls,
the first this spring, harbinger of a sudden
explosion of blossoms after a warm winter 
unable to kill the herbs we snip 
into our soups and salads, 
eaten on the deck within a garden
I built to recover from a sickness
that nearly took me.

During our evening walks,
neighbors whose names we barely know 
burst from their homes 
sudden as an iris in full flag,
shouting greetings and waving 
to us as though we were emerging
celebrities, taking a victory lap.

For so long we only passed fellow dwellers 
in this bungalow village in cars, 
waving to thank us for letting them
go first, on our way out to the city,
to theaters now dark, restaurants now offering 
curbside pickup only, parking lots 
then filled with anxious cars vying 
for up close parking. 

On our evening walks,
I rediscover where I live, 
whom I live among and find as well
a commonality I had forgotten, once
suspicious about who votes for whom, why,
and who might be carriers of some dread.
Now the dread is here full blown.
Along the way azaleas riot under
tulip poplars and blooming cherries, we
walk until the first star of evening
appears in a sky fading into icy darkness,
revealing tonight a starry constellation. 

© 2020 West Trade Review
Home    About    Subscribe    Guidelines   Submit   Exclusives