Photo by Tammy Gann on Unsplash



poem: Isolation, Part 9: Coffee Filter Salvation


Clowning up as suburban bandits 

We three stumble into the empty park, 

Breathing through coffee filters 

Tucked away in cotton life-preservers 

And there we conduct a baseball season

Tossing, though never catching, 

A ball between the rising Violets and Chickweed.

Bouncing off ankles and wrists

Our cowhide sphere 

Ricochets away in a Blue Ridge wind,

Its red stitches angrily tattooing flesh

Plunking wounds for dinner banter.


God! This is excruciatingly fun.


White county sheriff cars saunter by 

Hovering in corners like pale spiders,

Declaring: “No more than 10 bandits per park,”

Though never uttering such syntax.


So we hunker away on our hillside.

Wave to midday dog walkers

Rustle up webby pasta with sauce

And enter the night for a kip divided.





Les Epstein is a poet, playwright and opera librettist. His work has appeared in journals in the United States, Philippines, India and the U.K.Recent credits include Eyedrum Periodically, Interstice, Mojave River Review, Clinch Mountain Review, Jelly Bucket and Saudade. Cyberwit recently released a collection of his short plays and libretti (Seven).His poems were recently featured in the podcast, “Sunflower Sutras,” broadcast out of Washburn University.He teaches in Roanoke, VA.