Green Hills Literary Lantern





In his second basketball season

my seventh-grade son,

who mostly sat on the bench

watching his friends race around,

scored his first basket--

and we rose to our feet,

clapping and clapping,

and I, who was once last,

or next to last,

to be picked for any school team,

could have hugged all the other parents

who clapped as if he were their son,

as if he were a hero.






A Reader’s Primer


Even the lightest classics

should be treated with decorum,

for it is a truth universally acknowledged

that Jane Austen must never be read

whilst wearing a t-shirt;

nor should Tolstoy be downloaded

onto electronic devices -- his books

were hefty and inconvenient to handle

in the nineteenth century

and should remain so.


The reading of a novel

in the original tongue

is always encouraged.

Therefore, those sampling

Balzac or Camus en Francais

may do so while sipping champagne,

while those perusing Homer in Greek

may travel to Europe.


For those debased seekers

of entertainment without effort,

kindly restrict your ketchup-smeared fingers

to the lesser, living authors

whose products -- I hesitate

to call them books –

deserve no better.


Under the age of seven

children may read to themselves

whatsoever they choose,

be it Proust, Dr. Seuss,

Garfield cartoons,

or tales of lonely pink unicorns.

Thereafter, once a child

has caught the habit of reading,

standard restrictions apply.





Eating Under the Sky


Tired and out of sorts,

we carried our supper

out onto the deck,

my son and I.


He, four years old,

ran back for cushions,

positioned them on the bench,

side by side.


Chicken and potato curry

garnished with boiled peas

and the slow untangling

of a day's knots and snarls.


Not the French Riviera,

but a narrowed view

of mowed weeds edged by fences

and a concrete wall.


Under our blue umbrella,

we ate as though famished,

the two of us leaning together

on the bench.




Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. "Crowned," the first book in her epic fantasy in verse, was published by Dark Renaissance Books in June 2015. Several poems from the book may be read at