The way she holds the pages
of her book up to the light—
small enough to fit into
the palms of her hands—might

make us all lean back into
the deep and upholstered green
of the arm chair with its carved
wooden arms on which she leans

her elbows. She has nearly
finished the story and sits
transfixed to discover the end.
Meanwhile, the lantern emits

a soft glow that sheds its tinge
upon everything, transforms
her muslin dress to fabric
woven with a saffron warmth.

Threads of ocher, umber, rose,
the palest yellow contrasts
the deepest red. Our evening
twilight is likewise recast,

even as she reads, her eyes
reflecting the golden light,
into ever-expanding
halos well into the night.

Deborah H. Doolittle

About the poet: Deborah Doolittle has an MA in Women's Studies and and MFA in Creative Writing, and she teaches at Coastal Carolina Community College. Two chapbooks, No Crazy Notions and That Echo, won the Mary Belle Campbell and Longleaf Press Awards, respectively. Her poems have or will appear in The Aurorean, Backstreet, Broad River Review, Main Street Rag, North American Review, Slant, and Smartish Pace.