One Night in June:
The Scent of Tea Olive
Phebe Davidson

You have come up the wide front walk, climbed
five wooden steps to the porch, 
                                                                        an invited guest 

who pauses at the door, breathes quietly, looks in.
Everyone here is someone you know— 
                                                                        not one of them

sees you standing a moment in the porch dark.
You think how easy it would be to like 
                                                                        each in some

uncomplicated way, admiring this one's dress,
that one's laughter, the force of the other
                                                                        one's presence

in the room. You think of this one's car wrecks,
that one's secret drinking, the other's 
                                                                        mistress waiting

somewhere beyond this room where he stands
with his wife, in the midst of a party, 
                                                                        waiting for you— 

Attentive, composed, you step smiling into the room. 
You recall that your life has been lonely till now, 
                                                                        and sad.

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