After the Rain
Richard Jones

I hurry through the early evening
down rain-washed Paris streets,
carrying a great bouquet of flowers
upside down so the heavy weight
of so many red and yellow blooms
will not break or bend the tall stems.
The flowers are wrapped in white
paper on which a small envelope
has been taped. The aproned girl
in the florist’s shop waited, while
pen in hand I looked into eternity,
wanting to write something equal
to the flowers’ beauty, to her beauty,
then wrote my wife’s name, Laura.

Richard Jones received an MA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Vermont College. Jones’s first collection of poetry, Country of Air (1986), won the Posner Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. He has since published several additional collections, including The Correct Spelling & Exact Meaning (2009), Apropos of Nothing (2006), and The Blessing: New and Selected Poems (2000), which won the Midland Authors Award. Jones has received the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines’ Editors Award for his work editing the literary journal Poetry East. He has also edited the anthologies Poetry and Politics (1985) and Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly (1981), which he co-edited with Kate Daniels. His own poetry appears in the anthologies Poetry 180 (2003, ed. Billy Collins) and Good Poems (2003, ed. Garrison Keillor). Jones has also produced a CD on the art of poetry, entitled Body and Soul. His website is