Gallery Exhibit of Portraits After Hours – a poem by Kyle Laws

Gallery Exhibit of Portraits After Hours
for Sandra Yowells

K.D. looks down disapprovingly,
eyes ringed plum, crease between nose
and heart-shaped top of lip—deep set—
as if smiles rarely pass smudged lipstick.

Joe Gropusso’s lids closed to women
in the room, leans into the background
of a wash before details are filled in,
fidgets and sits on his hands.

Marge’s blonde hair edged in pink
reflects the ruddiness of her face.
Primary blue of her dress hides
the curve of her shoulders to chest.

Mrs. Sterba contemplates a book out of view
in her lap, cinnamon of the wall behind
brewed into a tea with orange peel
and hibiscus leaves.

I turn the corner onto doors by the elevator
painted with scenes from Eden, go up to the roof
to catch a breeze, marvel as I did as a child
that I can see craters from this distance.

At 4,500 feet I live closer than ever before.
I’m back in the garden. No one wants to expel
me, and I can dwell here if I can find a way
to water the desert until it blooms.


Kyle Laws read and responded to the psalms with poetry during her studies of contemplative prayer in the Benedictine tradition in monasteries in Colorado and New Mexico.  A number of the poems were published as Going into Exile, a chapbook supplement to the journal Abbey. Other collections include Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press), and Wildwood (Lummox Press).

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