THE WINDOW SHADE
I had a neighbor once who was a psychologist.
His office was in his house. It faced the road,
so it was easy for his neighbors like me to see
through the window. Whenever he had a new
patient, the very first thing he did was ask if
the patient wanted the shade up or down. He
said this immediately gave him the first glimpse
into the patient’s psyche. If the patient wanted
the shade up, he was probably dealing with an
extrovert, an exhibitionist of some kind. If the
patient wanted the shade down, he knew he had
an introvert, or worse, on his hands. In any case,
a patient with something to hide. I started to tell
him something. That when I walk on the road
at night, all the shades are up. Except the office
shade, which is down. I changed my mind and
didn’t mention it. No need to complicate matters.
Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY Orange, J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 500 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s, including The New Criterion, The New York Times, The American Scholar, The Progressive, Poetry Northwest, Salmagundi, The Literary Review, The Sun, The American Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, Poetry East, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and Free Verse. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions , 2020 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie Book), Enjoy Yourself (Serving House Books), Piano Music (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Serving House Books), For All I Know (Kelsay Books), A Guide of the Perplexed (Serving House Books), The Moon Is the Capital of the World (WordTech Communications), Years Later (Adelaide Books), The Dust (Dos Madres Press), Selected Poems 2002-2021 (nominated for the National Book Award by Serving House Books), and coauthor with his wife Joan I. Siegel of Peach Girl:Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.