In the evening, when the red iron deep of the sun faded,

and the restless calves were pinioned in their stalls,

my father read to me.

Keats, Shelley, Byron–beautiful, elegantly allusive–

  words I did not know.


I knew only the kindness of my father,

and his slender scholar’s hands.


We did not mourn our dynasty of pain,

locked in my mother’s scalding tongue,

my brother’s need for drink.


We dreamed of that which we imagined,

safe borders of another’s fabled land.




Gayle Newby has been published in decomP, Gravel, The Hiram Poetry Review, and Passagers. Her work is forthcoming in The Santa Fe Literary Review, and After the Pause. Gayle has worked as a social worker, teacher and as a librarian. A longtime resident of Mississippi, she now lives in Utah.