A Hot Day in Madrid by Laura Foley

A Hot Day in Madrid

We return to her mother,
same apartment six floors up,
elevator so rickety, I walk the unlit stairs.

Her husband’s old coat
hangs in the hallway closet,
forty years past his death,

the electric bill’s in his name,
his watch in her drawer
no longer keeps time.

The same city grime
coats windows, yellowed shades,
faded wallpaper.

She pours cold water into the old fan,
asks for stories of our forty days
walking across Spain,

the cathedrals, towns,
beaches she remembers,
a level of walking her body

has long forgotten, the way
she has not stayed the same,
the ways we have changed.


Laura Foley is the author of seven poetry collections. Why I Never Finished My Dissertation received a starred Kirkus Review, was among their top poetry books of 2019, and won an Eric Hoffer Award. Her collection It’s This is forthcoming from Salmon Press in 2021. Her poems have won numerous awards, and national recognition—read frequently by Garrison Keillor on The Writers Almanac; appearing in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Laura lives with her wife, Clara Gimenez, among the hills of Vermont. http://www.laurafoley.net

Leave a Reply