Opportunities Slipped

by Alan Jackson
The Write Idea
Honorable Mention, October 2020
Judged by Jim McGarrah

Albondigas and
patatas bravas for tea
all that’s missing
is the heat of your
slow and secret smile
and the spice of the
laughter in your eyes

The poem works as a lyric of absence and longing. Also, it says a lot with very few words, which makes the inference that much more powerful. The foods mentioned are well known comfort foods in Spanish cuisine. Knowing that generates emotional power to the other five lines. It brought up a memory for me of William Carlos Williams’ famous poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” and that is a compliment, not a complaint. His maxim – “No ideas but in things ” – or basically, that to speak about ideas, emotions, and abstractions, we must ground them firmly in the things of the world is at play in this poem “Opportunities Slipped” and increases its value as art. --Jim McGarrah