Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

In August

by Lynda Riese

We sit on the sun porch 
and watch the storm
roll in from the Rock River,
he with Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise,

her luminous poems about dying,
cradled in his lap,
a book I bought him on impulse.
He brings it with him 

to the dinner table where he can’t eat;
it sits beside him 
on the sofa when he watches TV.
His thin hand rests on its cover

as black clouds shiver and spin,
his own dying a few months away.
We don’t speak its name 
though death slumps 

near his shoulder, a weary angel,
and I want to tear at its wings,
beat it back with my fists. 
But we sit in our wicker chairs 

watching the summer storm
talking of nothing
while rain pelts the roof,
lightning splits open the sky.



SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

Lynda Riese

A Southern California native, Lynda Riese lives in San Diego with her husband of 30 years and her two rescue dogs. She began to write seriously twenty years ago and has poems published in Calyx, Onthebus, Poet Lore, and other small press literary magazines in print and on the net.

She also enjoys writing prose, and has an almost-finished novel in stories gathering dust in her desk drawer. When she’s not writing or taking endless photographs of her dogs, she works as an antique dealer specializing in vintage and Victorian jewelry.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury