Featured Poem / Fall/Winter 2015




While stopped at a snowy red light on Eleventh,

appropriate it now seems,

I saw you standing on the corner

pure as the driven through snow.

Radiant under the streetlight

you approached me at the corner

asked me for a light

and offered a short ride

promising a sixty-dollar glimpse of Paradise.


For a moment I considered.

You were lovely –

an Iowa ten

whose Broadway dream ended a few blocks west,

exuding a coquettish vulnerability

despite the hardened veneer

applied as thick as your makeup.


But I have scars far older than you

wounds that have become trusted friends,

a roadmap of my past.

A past you could never understand

but a past in which I may have accepted

a temporary respite from the fear.


And so I drive away leaving you

to shiver in the lonely night

awaiting the next lonely sojourner

seeking comfort in the cold.


Stephen Barry is a trial lawyer, fly fisherman, and dad living in New York’s Hudson River
Valley. His poetry has appeared in the Boston Literary Magazine, Big River Poetry Review,
Emerge Literary Journal, and other publications. He is a regular reader on
WorldPoetryOpenMic broadcast out of Denver.