Sunset in Black and White

From the hotel room where her marriage ends,
sliding doors open to a sunset devoid of brilliance.
It should have deepened gradually, pastel pink
flaming into peony before sliding from the horizon.
Surf slaps the shoreline, tumbles back to the Atlantic.
Gulls circle low, guttural caws muffled in the winter gloaming.

On the desk, a half-full glass of Merlot, slim gold wedding
band. Crinkled photo of a girl, curly hair tamed by an ivory
veil, propped against a bronze urn. Tomorrow she will sail
beyond the three-mile limit, scatter her husband’s ashes.

Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series). Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net, and has appeared or is forthcoming in publications that include Gargoyle, Napalm And Novocain, Houseboat, Bryant Literary Review, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Awards include the 2014 Northern Liberties Review Poetry Prize, and second place in the poetry book category from the Delaware Press Association (2014).

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5 Responses to Sunset in Black and White

  1. Just beautiful, Nina. Sad and serene.

  2. I love that first line. The poem takes me there. Excellent.

  3. Ryan Stone says:

    Wow! Stunning, Nina. You had me from your brilliant first line and your close bowled me over. Such a powerful poem, I love it.

  4. atenni says:

    I had the same reaction as Ryan. The first line reeled me in, yet the ending was still a heart-wrenching surprise. Alarie

  5. Kelley Jean White says:


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