Subtle Observances

Kathy Winarski
Evelyn Ann Romano

Beth C. Bosserman

Teaching a Bird to Fly
By Kathy Winarski

“Birdy, Birdy,” says the sweet-faced creature.
Her big brown eyes stare into my tiny black ones.
“Birdy, birdy,” I squawk in reply,
Wondering why,
She’s waving her arms up and down.
“Fly,” she says.
“Fly,” she bubbles.
I stare through the black wire.
What is this creature?
She believes she can fly?
“Birdy,” she pleads irresistibly.
Resting securely on my perch,
I preen my quite fine and capable feathers.
Jealous, I surmise.

Sunday’s Open House
By Kathy Winarski

Almost ugly cabinets,
Reddish brown, unpolished,
Without handles,
Draw me into their
Tiny, oddly-shaped kitchen.
I’ve learned to be careful
When I open doors
In other people’s houses.
I’ve found too many unpleasant things,
Discarded in haste or anger,
Dirty laundry
Broken chairs
Freaky antique dolls
Still, I pull open a cabinet door.
No forgotten can of soup or bag of coffee.
Just the dusty smell of unfinished work.
I run my hands over the rough wood.
In its cracks, cratered like the moon,
I feel their peculiar, desperate future.

Sweet Tradition
by Evelyn Romano

I, a less than confident woman marry a stargazer. He sees
no stars on June Seventeenth. Rain steals the sun on the
day of my birth. The burden of clouds a heavy load.

I demand a change.

Perhaps a birthday morning of Breakfast In Bed:
jelly donuts with raspberry filling, petit-fours with
pink candles, cards and presents and yellow roses.


Now, on my day, for dozens of years, every
June Seventeenth,
Breakfast in Bed.

“Sweet Tradition” which was just published in the 2024 Sandhill Review, the prompt:Tradition.

by Beth C. Bosserman

Eyes gently closed, lips barely touching
I imagine your hands, long, strong, weathered
With years and winter’s dullness
Elegant fingers tapered to perfection
Magnificent digits that I find and
Curl against mine when we’re together
Interlocking, mini versions of our bodies
So that mine cannot escape yours
I gasp for air
The nearness of you
Takes away my lovesick breath
So hard to do, near you
I open my eyes slowly
Most days, the long ones we’re forever apart
I’m not sure who you want me to be
Your love? a vixen? a daughter? a friend?
Who am I in your mind of minds?
What will we become, or will we fade to nil
When at last we’re within a breath of each other
One or both having travelled elsewhere
To be together
Your fingers tall and fine find mine
Small and painted
Hungering, grateful
Held tightly by yours
Intertwined like a vine
I’m special again

Kathy Winarski, a retired college administrator, has written for the trade journal College&University. Her essay on Neil Jordan’s film The Miracle, was included in Contemporary Irish Cinema. She has taken many OLLI courses in poetry, literature, art, architecture, music, history and science. As a member of the Write Time for Poets SIG, she is now focused on studying and writing poetry. Her poem “The Bastard Son’s Daughter was published in the poetry journal, Slipstream. 

Evelyn Ann Romano is an award-winning poet whose poetry has been published in numerous journals including Bacopa Review, Sandhill Review, Wordsmith, Chasing Light, New Mirage Quarterly, Palettes&Quills, Cadence, Time of Singing and many others. She is a three-time Tampa Writers Alliance Poetry Prizewinner. Other awards include Mt. Dora poetry prize, New River Poets award and Hillsborough County Library award. Excerpts from her poem, “Love Letter to Tampa” were displayed city-wide at numerous locations as part of the Love Tampa project run by the City of Tampa. Her debut chapbook, “RIPE” was published in 2018 by FinishingLine Press. Her latest chapbook, “Eve Redeemed- A Woman’s Journey” was published in January 2023. Evelyn has been an OLLI member since 2016 and was a member of Life Long Writers at USF for many years. She is a New Jersey transplant who lives in New Tampa.

A lover of nature, all things French, and travel, Beth C. Bosserman grew up in Tampa. The daughter of one of USF’s first professors, she worked at USF fundraising for three different colleges. Dashing off poems since childhood, she often expresses her feelings and observations in the quiet intimacy of poetry. In today’s contribution, she writes about self-doubt, our universal need for love and to at reassurance however we can. These days she enjoys being bewitched by her first grandchild.

Coffee and Poetry at Jack’s House
Welcomes Florida Poet Laureate,
Peter Meinke

The Jack Kerouac House of St. Petersburg
Sunday, April 28 3-6 p.m.
Admission $10

To participate contact

Casting Poetry on the Lighter Side
Enjoy an evening of giggles and guffaws at the new Commodore Theater, 811 E 7th Avenue. Tampa poets will showcase their work at the Victoria Dym Laugh Fest.
April 25, 7:30 p.m.

Season 4 of Poetry in America is available for streaming on the PBS website. Go to for the latest episode as well as listing of previous season collections available to stream on the WEDU PBS app.

  • Events throughout the month of April. Browse through the website here.
  • Poetry Readings at the Dali Museum. Browse through the website here.

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4 Replies to “Subtle Observances”

  1. Thank you for all of these poems.
    Teaching a Bird to Fly is so much fun…made me think, made me glad….

  2. Congrats all around, ladies, and I’m inspired—reading a good poem while having breakfast in bed is clearly the best way to start the day.

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