Issue > Poetry
Shirley J. Brewer

Shirley J. Brewer

Shirley J. Brewer is a poet, educator, and workshop facilitator. She earned the title of Pink Flamingo Goddess at the University of Baltimore in 2005. Publication credits include: Pearl, Comstock Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal , Edison Literary Review, Free Lunch, Manorborn, Calyx, and Passager, among others. Her first poetry collection, A Little Breast Music, was published in 2008 by Passager Books (Baltimore).

Mixing Manhattans In Heaven

When skies drizzle over Baltimore,
I taste bourbon in the air, and know
my parents are drinking Manhattans—two each—
in a bistro in another realm,
where ice cubes like stars clink into night;
maraschino cherries dazzle the winter-weary earth.

After cocktails, my father leads the choir, blends
a bevy of languages into song. My mother
crochets a pearl afghan every angel covets.
My parents lounge, share a cloud,
reminisce about how they met at a bus stop
in the spring of 1940.

I want one more happy hour with them,
a wedge of time to toast their light, the way
they shape this new green season.


Andrew Wells


Shirley Brewer
Mixing Manhattans in Heaven


Willie Lin