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Gary Grossman

Gary Grossman is Professor Emeritus of Animal Ecology at University of Georgia. His poetry has been published in 30+ literary reviews. Short fiction in MacQueen’s Quinterly and creative non-fiction in Tamarind Literary Magazine. Gary’s micro-fiction piece “Mindfulness” was just nominated by MacQueen’s Quinterly for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2022. For 10 years he wrote the “Ask Dr. Trout” column for American Angler. Gary’s first book of poems, Lyrical Years is forthcoming in 2023 from Kelsay Press, and his graphic novel My Life in Fish: One Scientist’s Journey is available from . Website: Writing: Blog:

The Hours of Prayer

1. Lauds
A nightmare wakes me—repeated theme—I can’t get to Barajas, the Madrid airport—I will miss
my plane—but the subtext is “go to the damn bathroom”—so I throw back the percale sheet, roll
to the right, and plant my slightly wobbly, 4:32AM, feet on our red oak floor—take a right at the
hall—and enter the yellow bathroom—eight seconds later I am lifting the wooden toilet seat and
2. Prime
Awake for an hour—sleep escaped for the night—again, I roll to my right, stand up, grab shorts,
tee-shirt, flip-flops, my current novel—historical fiction about the Marranos, the crypto-Jews of
15th century Spain—walk to the living room and turn on both the floor and table lamps. It is early
September and sunrise is two hours distant.
3. Terce
I sit on the couch while the sun shovels a seemingly inexhaustible supply of light into our living
room—thirty pages read—email checked—happy birthday greetings sent to twelve Facebook
friends, even checked my Insta. My coffee cup snuggles the lamp on our mahogany side table—
empty after three fillings.                                                                                                                                                                                                     4. Sext
Nothing for lunch—not penance—but easier to lose the extra ten pounds this way—hunger
chased away by a four-mile jog—mid-day is hot, already in the 90’s—sweat rolls down me like a
missed fast ball on a steep street.
5. None
It’s nap time, but as usual I scare it off—two cups of strong coffee in the neighborhood
coffeehouse—temptation everywhere—scones, cheese danish, fruit tarts—but the writing goes
6. Vespers
Supper has come and gone—shrimp salad, steamed asparagus, baguette from the bakery, and
Compte cheese to finish—the bones of three poems rest on the computer desktop—skin and
muscles to be added on the marrow—air, sweet with satisfaction.
7. Night Watch
A nightmare wakes me. . .

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