Dark Emeralds at White Castle

by Jean Harper

In the painting, there is one dark head at the window, and I think he—yes, he—this man in the 24-hour White Castle, somewhere in Missouri, is leaning with his back to the rain slicked glass, reading a book of poetry. Not a newspaper, for we might see a corner of the news tipped into the light.  Not a magazine, for why in the middle of a rainy night go to an all-night White Castle in Middle America to read a magazine.  Those are in waiting rooms – doctors’, dentists’, hairdressers’. Here, perhaps on a side street in St. Louis, the man in White Castle is reading something contemplative, yet with joy in it.  I want him to be reading James Wright, maybe The Collected Poems.  I think his daughter has given it to him, a gift attached to no holiday, just: Here, Dad. Continue reading “Dark Emeralds at White Castle”

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