Estranged
Response to Edward Hopper's Room in New York

by Cecily Hamlin Wells

Silence slinks in under the mahogany door,
surrounds the man and woman,
occupies the yawning space
between them.

He hovers over his newspaper.
She perches on the piano bench,
her back to him, one finger poised above
middle “C”
as if to strike.

Outside the large window, sirens screech,
horns honk, shoppers scurry,
elevated trains rumble by
as passengers
catch a glimpse
of what Silence looks like.

Cecily Hamlin Wells has published poems and short fiction in Long Story Short, Wild Goose Poetry Review, The Great Smokies Review, MoonShine Review, and in several anthologies including Echoes Across the Blue Ridge. She also received honorable mention for and publication of her two entries in the Writer’s Digest 5th Annual Poetry Awards competition.

About Estranged—I imagined what the artist Edward Hopper might have intended his viewer to take away from his 1932 painting Room in New York.