Green Hills Literary Lantern



Until Further Notice



The factory will close soon

and people will be looking for jobs –

though some may just give up,

as statistics have shown. Empty

buildings tend to stress defeat –

cold and abandoned, a gray mood

that settles into morning coffee

like sour cream. Bills are stirred

over cluttered tables and ignored -

no sweetener in sight. A mom cries;

a dad heads to the streets to do

anything to stop the tears and put

food on tables and in mouths;

honesty beds down with deceit.

Save the lectures for when church

is in session; services are canceled

until further notice.









Some people are comfortable in cemeteries –

walking amongst the dates and dashes, sharing private


grief in a public setting – and I can’t deny the guilt

that surges through my system when I drive past and see


how some stones look like shrines; decked out in color,

bells and whistles, a shout to the world of the importance


of the person who lies under. It doesn’t help that

some have the appearance of mini-skyscrapers -


while yours is stunted flat in the ground. I thought

about putting a flag up on Veteran’s Day, but I never


got around to it; I don’t need the reminder. I wonder

what people think of your daughter, what they say


behind my back. But you always told me not to worry

about what people think or say about you. Your grave


is close to the fence; when I drive by I always wave even

though I can’t see it. I know you see me – probably wishing


I would slow down. It’s not a fancy decoration or a loud

shout-out; just a steady, consistent greeting a few times


during the week. Some people never get that in life. I may stop

one day with a flag; maybe some flowers. Nothing too fancy –


just a quick hug between drive-bys.




Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Chaffin Journal, Pennine Ink (UK), Homestead Review, and other journals. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press: A Life In the Day and Dust And Angels. She lives in Omaha, NE and can be contacted at