When I walk the lamp-lit streets,
my shadow shifts
with each new light I pass:
behind, beside, beneath, before
behind, beside, beneath, before --
each pool of brightness, a sundial day,
a long night of dimness in-between.
By this measure, each block I circle
is half a month, and I’ve walked more
months than I have lived, only to return
to a home, either warmly lit with welcome
or so dark and cold my shadow disappears.
After earning a B.A. and M.A. in English from Michigan State and an M.F.A. from the Playwrights Workshop at University of Iowa, Fred Zirm taught English and drama for almost forty years at an independent school for boys in Maryland. Since retirement, he has continued to direct plays but have also focused on writing. His poetry, flash fiction, and creative non-fiction have been published in more than a dozen literary journals or anthologies, including Still Crazy, Voices de la Luna, NEAT, The Rejected Quarterly, cahoodadoodaling (Pushcart Prize nominee), Greek Fire, Poeming Pigeons, and Objects in the Rearview Mirror. Fred’s poetry chapbook, Object Lessons, was published in January 2021 by Main Street Rag.
He once spent a month traveling through Greece by bicycle on his own.