Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

The Great Writer

by Gay Baines

In her dream he backed the packed
SUV out of the living room
closet, parked it humming by the
glass doors to the cold patio,
then got out to say goodbye to
his friend the professor, the roomful
of students. Professor told them
this was his friend’s final visit to
the US, he was driving home, taking
the western route to Bangkok,
where he would board the ferry 
then drive to his home on the great
island. They all stood up to say a muted
goodbye, for most of them did not like him
much, found him too cool, but she felt
something shatter inside. Somehow she
went to him, saying nothing, for surely
he would blanch at her expressed feelings.
He drew her to him, hugged her, told her Addio,
mia bella poverina, and she thought
stupidly, I didn’t know he speaks Italian,
and he returned to his vehicle and drove
out the patio doors into the dark night.
Then it was morning, October pouring
cold light through the blinds, and she
lay wondering, reluctant to let the dream
go, knowing very well what it meant.


SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Gay Baines

lives in East Aurora, New York, and is a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. She holds a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and has done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY, Buffalo. She won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes.

Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, Alabama Literary, Amarillo Bay, Anemone Sidecar, Atlanta Review, The Baltimore Review, Bayou Magazine, Caveat Lector, Cimarron Review, Cloudbank, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Crack The Spine, Crate Literary Magazine, Dislocate, Eclectica, Eclipse, Edison Literary Review, The Evansville Review, Forge, Grey Sparrow, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, PMS poemmemoirstory, Poet Lore, Queen’s Quarterly, Quiddity International Literary Journal, REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, Talking River, The Tampa Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island Magazine, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3.

“...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