The First Warm Evening
by Gay Baines
Gay Baines lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She has a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY - Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclipse, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3. She recently published a book of poems, Don't Let Go.
drowned in skim milk sky,
doves sweeping from trees,
the chatter of chipmunks, a small
dog barking way off, the cool
air but most of all the light,
promise of burnished days.
Driving home I see pickle-green
leaves' newness that will
soften to Prussian by August.
But now bright trees and ragged
thickets tear the remembering eye.
This is a morning to be stored
in a jar in the dark cellar,
but I will not attend to it,
all that boiling, measuring and
steaming. I'll just fling
myself down on the grass
bursting from the plowed lawn
and dream spring and summer away.
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