Summer Volta

(For Gloria Johnson)

Dinner is done, and 
the dishes. Dog has eaten
and gone outside. I sit now
at my desk listening to 

classical music and trying 
to finish writing a quiz 
for American literature this
fall while the sun goes down. 

My phone dings with an
alert, which means I will pick 
it up, and I will get lost for 
20 minutes checking the 

socials, all because I forgot to
silence the damn thing, and so 
it is that right in the middle of
writing the third of four 

possible answers on a 
multiple choice question, I 
learn that a grad school mentor
is retiring, and I am suddenly

struck with a sadness so deep
that I forget to return to the 
question. Instead I sit in my room
while voices from the radio intone

Whitacre’s “Sleep,” which now
sounds like a dirge, and the 
music and the dusk mix with
my memories, and I can see 

the room and the desks, eager
master’s candidates in a 
circle discussing Kazin’s “A 
Walker in the City,” and I 

remember being your
student and how much you 
taught me with nary a
quiz. 

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

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