Shelf Life

What does Shakespeare’s King Lear have to do with a 20th century young man hired to hold a sign on a street corner at the edge of town? Crying out from the pages of this book they, and other characters who populate this work, offer themselves to the reader unmasked; and in doing so, they speak to familiar places in our hearts. Through faithful observation, the author invites us to look at the joy and sorrow that bookend life.

At Aversboro Coffee Shop

an old man sits hunched over coffee
gazing into its blackness,
its curl of steam winding and vanishing.
His icy fingers, knotty as a scrub oak,
embrace the cup. Nursing an apple
muffin, he pinches off morsels,
savoring the sweetness of musical chatter
from a nearby table where a giddy crowd of teens
huddle over smoothies and tomorrow’s plans.