Three Poems by

Raymond Byrnes

Another Season

From a beige plastic Adirondack chair

on just-cut grass out back, in sheltered

solitude she watches tall ridge-top trees  

pantomime the heartbeat of a breeze.

Dense crowns of April green sway in

robin-egg sky. Long, thin trunks sustain

a yoga side-stretch, swing abruptly up:

black branches jagged lines across an EKG.

A sudden puff tears away just-unfurled

leaves. Small propeller halves spin like

flocks of buff-brown butterflies startled

by confetti bursting from a cherry tree.

Songbirds rinse, wring, and hang notes high

in morning air as sunlight warms the mottled

backs of her old hands, ready now to pull

a rake in rhythm with the pulse of spring.

Morning Walk               

Clear and cold beneath a plate-glass sky

many trees are bare. Frost slowly browns

any leaves that linger. In open woods she

wanders pathways worn from other years.

Pausing, she watches reds and tans chatter

across the forest floor. Last winter was the

first she spent alone; didn't turn the soil in

spring; stared down highways through July.

She comes back to sugar white deeply poured

her crunching boots grooming trail to a slope

where, after many long dark nights ahead

tips of daffodils may be poking from the snow.


Once this deadly scourge is truly over

there are several steps I need to take:

climb again aboard the Silver Line  

full of red hats bobbing like a school bus

hop off at Capital South and stroll down

to Half Street where the plastic-bucket

drummers pump up pulses; see some

high-steppers prance, nodding to the beat

funnel slowly through Center Field Gate to

the concrete plaza above the flawless green


watch white batting-practice mortars arc

toward kids pounding gloves at the railing

float on deep-fried aromas toward

Section 114; stop for a crispy bratwurst

concealed beneath sauerkraut and mustard  

carry a cold foaming amber lager pint

find row LL-12 to sit and chomp and gulp

and dab at juices sliding down my chin.

Top of the third, wave a five at the peanut man

who always knows he'll throw another strike

and once that first homer clears the wall, join a

roar that cannot cease until our hero tips his cap.

Recent poems by Raymond Byrnes have been read on The Writer's Almanac, featured as Editor's Choice in five journals, and published in Third Wednesday, Shot Glass Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Misfits, Typishly, Split Rock Review, and numerous other journals. He lives in Virginia.