Glass Poetry Press

Volume One Issue Three

William Doreski

In the Name of Some Endowment

The day ends in downtown Nashua with shadows half a mile long. A brick mill five stories high stands aloof beside the river. The railroad's branch line wanders among restaurants featuring tacos and Brazilian food. Near the dam in a space fenced off with planters a crowd hogs umbrella tables and cheers a big-screen TV wheeled outdoors in honor of spring. I shrug past tattooed and buxom drinkers already swaying like sunflowers on delicate stems. My tote bag contains the novel on which I'll lecture to earn a couple of hundred dollars in the name of some endowment. I'd like to join the jolly crowd overlooking the river, but doubt that beer-breath would endear me to the pouting library ladies. I wish a train would rumble past with carloads of gravel from Milford, but the rails look too flimsy to bear any weight. The shadows recline in mottled shades of gray and the sun crawls behind that tall brick mill to lick its wounds. I veer between a slurring man in leather and a woman who's yanked up her tank top to flash at traffic. Trudging to the library I'm small and barely literate; but I feel a terrible distance smoke up through the sidewalk, the plain old storefronts looking ashamed and a pair of fire trucks hustling with a clatter of long steel ladders to the usual false alarm.