Judith O’Connell Hoyer

At the Shore

It’s past the time of half and half
when night’s thumbs smudge
the margins of yellowing days.
The fingers of trees
are being sucked clean.
Election posters grow on lawns —
garish, gangly perennials.
Welch – Craven – Ehrhardt
Florida license plates are scarce.
There is enough blue sky
to whiten Monday’s laundry line.
Lawnmower blades are lowered.
Dogs on leashes are allowed
to run on sandy beaches.
Sweaters are still packed away.
School buses squeal the time.


The Moulin Rouge

As I spoon oatmeal
with brown sugar
and cranberries
into Henry’s mouth
I am distracted
by hummingbirds
on the patio –
a spirited can-can
with petticoats that bustle.
The troupe rustles
fruit flies nesting
on a speckled banana
that teases in orange mesh –
like a follies coquette
in fish-net hose
who draws hollers
from gents
in the front rows.



In a beach house by the seesaw sparkle of the sea
I settle in to the day in June when the highway south
was a wide puddle full of sun.
I was hit from behind.
If there was sound I did not hear it.
The car skidded sideways across the road.
I was lifted off the ground like a piece of luggage
until the car touched down in a swath of spiky grass.
Would they turn off the crock-pot?
Who would pick-up Suzanne at school?
Time stuck like pine sap on the windshield.
I was left behind as traffic whooshed by
and the car shuddered at my side.



After a mouthful
of absence
a friend’s
lips stick to mine.

The wax seal
forms a bond
that’s hard
to tamper with.

This is how I see it:
a bird
feeding affection
to her image
in the glass.

© Judith O’Connell Hoyer

Judith O’Connell Hoyer is a retired school psychologist active in several Boston area poetry groups.  Her poetry has been published in the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Boston Literary Magazine, Avocet, PMS (poetrymemoirstory), and the anthology Surrounded — Living with Islands.

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