Widow Passing the Time By Linda Ankrah-Dove The old man sits. His can of restless beer streams fizzing foam across the countertop. Ten gnarled fingers clasp the can. He tells tall stories. He jokes around till closing time. He mellows in that bar. Back home in bed he spills not beer but rusty tears for life’s fresh sap dried out by all the years. It is for me, his adult child, to wipe away the pools of sticky grief, to set out a toasty breakfast as hot as the young man he once was. Linda Ankrah-Dove has taught economics and the sociology of development in the United Kingdom and has worked on every continent for several international development organizations. She founded First Monday Poets nearly nine years ago. The poets, all living in the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, meet to read, enjoy and critique each other’s work. In July 2018, the group held readings and a month-long exhibition, Poetic Vision, that was hosted by the Arts Council of the Valley to encourage appreciation of poetry among local residents. Visual artists offered artworks that interpreted the poems. Linda Ankrah-Dove’s poetry is often meditative about the self, the soul and communion with nature. She also comments on worldwide social and climate issues. Her work is featured in the Virginia Literary Review , EchoWorld, and is forthcoming in two Bridgewater International Festival publications. She has a forthcoming book of poetry that will be published in 2019.