In only 12 lines, this week’s poem captures a beautiful moment of silence.

Jay Franzel lives in Wayne and has worked with at-risk students for many years. He has been published in various journals, including Animus, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cafe Review, Off the Coast and Puckerbrush Review. In 2005, his chapbook, “Animal Wisdom,” was published by Sheltering Pine Press.


Picnic Area, Side of the Road

By Jay Franzel

In the silence between cars
I can almost hear the river.

Behind a stone pillar
I unroll my sleeping bag.

A car slows as it passes,
police light sweeping the grounds.

Moon over mountain.
Sleeping bag rustles the ground cloth.

A horse in the night,
her pale mane moved with my breath—

when she bent to the water
I could almost hear the river.


Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is a poet who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright 2018 Jay Franzel. It appears here by permission of the author. For an archive of all the poems that have appeared in this column, go to

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