“Nine O’Clock Show,” from Poems, 1930-1960, by Josephine Miles (1960)

I’ve decided to introduce a new feature on the site, devoted to bringing back to light neglected poems from collections to be found on the Internet Archive. Each year I promise to spend more time reading poetry, and each year I disappoint myself. So this exercise will not only contribute to the site’s purpose but serve a selfish one at the same time.

movietheaterNine O’Clock Show

Going into the show one heard nothing but closing sounds,
Doors closing, shutters drawing down,
Except before the palace and ice cream parlor
One heard the closing of the town,
One heard the shades and shops and nightfall drawing down.

But after Harlow listen what has arisen,
The rustle of feet in leaves and leaves in black,
The suck of straws and slam of a screen door rising,
Rising the racket of frogs in the waking black,
In the town in the field in the heart and the whole way back.

from Poems, 1930-1960, by Josephine Miles
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1960

Available on the Internet Archive: Link