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"Fantasia" by Pat Valdata

Updated: Apr 30

After a painting by Hiro Yamagata, “Poet”


Somewhere in this landscape

the poet watches. It’s fall,

but an early snow flurry

blankets the park. A busker

playing an undisclosed

instrument attracts a crowd.

Days are shorter now; shadows

grow. Perhaps the poet sits

on that bench in front of

the building with the Juliet

balconies. Perhaps the poet

stands behind one of those

balconies, in a darkened room,

holding a glass of Malbec.

Is the fireplace unlit? Perhaps

the poet is drinking Malbec

after arguing with her husband.

Does the husband know he is

wrong? Contrite, does he stand

next to her, looking out

the window at the busker,

the crowd, the running children,

the long shadows and golden

leaves about to fall? Does he

whisper an apology, kiss her?

Do they make love then

while dinner gets cold?




Pat Valdata is a poet and fiction writer. Her book about pioneering women aviators, Where No Man Can Touch, won 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. A revised edition was published in June 2023 by Wind Canyon Books. She has three published novels and is writing another. She lives in Crisfield with her husband Bob Schreiber and their rescue poodle, Junior.

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