Professor and the Gravel- Laura lee


You reading another
damn book of poems, Da asked
early morning slur and clink
don’t you have to work?


Char looked out
the kitchen window kept clean
for a view west–to the
tall buildings she tried
to then stopped
trying to
get to.


Can I walk, she wondered, ripping
shrink wrap leafing through
pages, and out dropped a card:


Edward Hanes, Chair
English Language and Literature.
There, from there, Char thought
sat down hard
on the floor.


More trucks, Momma said,
closed the one clean


Oh, hon, it’s just a book
get up and go to work, and maybe that
way–you’ll get–you know–


No, Momma, I won’t ever
get there–look, it’s gone. The
buildings are gone.
No, hon, just dust.


I’m gonna burn it, Char said.
The college? Momma asked,
that don’t sound
like my girl. Time for work.


Char burned it good and gone,
the card, and wondered
for just a moment
when flames touched fingers.


It’s this damn gravel, she said,
Da coughing in the next room.


Laura Lee is a Chicago area poet, college instructor, literacy tutor, and writer. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have been published in print and online journals in the US, the UK, New Zealand, and Greece. Literacy is her passion and dream.

For a complete list of publications, visit her website at:


“Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Connect With Us:
Follow by Email

Comments 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *