Labor Day Morn – a poem by Arlene Antoinette

Labor Day Morn

Driving home from the hospital
at 8 o’clock Labor Day morning,
the road is vacant. No cars ahead of me,
none behind me. The streets are still,
except for the lone dog walker who
I believe, is also finding peace in the quiet
of this moment. Words come to mind,
the beginning of a poem about chirping red
cardinals, bright pink crepe myrtle trees
and aimlessly fluttering butterflies.

I reach down into the cup holder and grab
a pen. Out of the corner of my eye,
I see a random scrap of paper and ease
it from its resting place using the tips
of my index and middle fingers of my right
hand, steering the car with my left, quickly
scanning the road for possible oncoming traffic. I flip
the old golden corral receipt onto its backside
and begin scribbling the beginning of a poem.

I don’t stop writing as the red-light halts
my progression but aids my flow. I remain
at the light even after it reverts to green. I’m
not thinking about my father laying in a
hospital bed with a brain bleed. I’m not worrying
if he will be alive tomorrow. All I know in this
moment is that I’m surrounded by beauty
and silence. I look up and the light is still green,
I continue to hesitate in making a left turn. After the
left there will be a right which will lead back onto
the main road to tailgating, honking horns, and a reality
I prefer to forget.


Arlene Antoinette is a poet of West Indian birth who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Brooklyn College and worked as an instructor with disabled individuals for many years. You may find additional work by Arlene at Foxglove Journal, Little Rose Magazine, I am not a silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, The Feminine Collective, The Open Mouse, Amaryllis Poetry, Boston Accent Lit, Sick Lit Magazine, Postcard Shorts, 50 Word Stories, The Ginger Collect, Neologism Poetry Journal and Your Daily Poem.

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