Michael Lauchlan: “Middle Distance”


Blurred in reflected light, they shake

and twirl while a beat pounds all

sense from conversations. From a round

table cleared of drinks and plates,

you look beyond the dancing forms,

a bride and her maids, a groom

somewhere and parents and aunts,

beyond the shifting canvas they comprise.

Stare through the huge panes

into a wooded night, not to name

oak and linden, maple and birch,

but to see the shapes of lovers

you’ve known–a woman who just

suddenly left. In the air out

there your children drift through

leaves and shadows. Out there, a kiss

you’ve never imagined lands on a cheek

slightly older than yours and still.

Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, Rhino, and Poetry Ireland. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave. (Wayne State University Press, 2015).

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