Green Hills Literary Lantern



The TV Stand


A rolling TV stand with shelves of black

perforated metal sat on the sidewalk amid

garbage cans awaiting the truck, a stand

identical to the one on which we set our tiny

black-and-white TV—a relic even then—early

in our marriage, watching the national news

with Walter Cronkite followed by the Muppets,

grown up but not quite, off on our own but

with our parental connections still tight, our

skimpy paychecks further reduced by paying

back student loans, intoxicated by the freedoms

we fostered in each other by being together but

sobered by them too and exhausted by constant

striving so wondering: how do real adults do it?

Work this hard and raise kids too? Or deal with

illness? Dying parents? Manage, maybe, all those?


I walked past that TV stand—scratched, dented,

one shelf off-kilter—and felt a surge of tenderness

for that long, sweet, gentle time before we came,

like everyone, to know. 



Mark Belair is a drummer and percussionist based in New York City. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Atlanta Review, Fulcrum, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, The South Carolina Review, The Texas Review and The Sun. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his chapbook collection, Walk With Me, was recently published by Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. For further information, visit