April sunshine has given me the courage to take on the challenge of writing Ekphrastic poems. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the work of art. This Ekphrastic poem is based on a painting by Edward Hooper entitled Nighthawks.
He brought me here after our date,
To Phillies Five-Cent Cigar Diner
One of the few places open so late.
The darkness outside a constant reminder
Of why we chose to huddle here
In the warmth of the white walls and yellow door
And the cherrywood counter.
The world is filled with so much fear
Rumors of battle in the street
I don’t know if I can take much more
Almost everyone I meet
Says we are going to war
If the fighting starts, he will enlist
The newspapers all say it might happen soon
I know he wants me to spend the night
With him here in Greenwich Village
A little voice whispers what I’m contemplating isn’t right
If he touches me one more time
How can I resist?
With rumors of war flying through the air
How can I refuse to share?
Would it be such a dreadful crime
For me to finally say yes.
All he would have to do is take my hand
And hold it gently in his
I wonder if he can ever understand
The power he holds over me
It is hard for me to confess
A single word would bring me to my knee
Would any of loves desire be so wrong
In a world about to explode into war
We sat in silence for so long
I didn’t notice the bartender
Cleaning up the spillage
In the diner late at night
When I was contemplating
Giving up my virginity
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!