Readers Say

We asked for your best creative writing on love. ‘The Middle Hours’ is our favorite.

Read April Leavenworth's winning poem, 'The Middle Hours.'

The Book Club is capping off February, the month of love, with a poem about the quiet joys of romance. 

This month’s writing prompt was inspired by’s February pick, “Small World” by Laura Zigman, a novel about two sisters who move in together after they both go through divorces. We asked readers to share their own stories about a relationship between two people who share a familial, platonic, or romantic love. 

Readers sent in their poems, flash fiction, and personal essays who wrote about falling in and out of love, the bonds between family members, and friendships that transformed their lives.


Below you’ll find our selected piece, a poem titled “The Middle Hours” by April Leavenworth. 

“The Middle Hours”

One morning we will wake up

and the luster of new love will have left us,

dropping us blindly at the entrance to the middle hours.

When we enter we will find the fire already built;

we will find that we stoke it without thinking—

and it will all feel so easy,

just as our morning walk in the woods

or the smile from across the table when

one of us has said something off-key.

These are the hours that tell us

this is our life, and we’re really in it;

the hours where love grows

along an abundantly verdant vine

that swings with us but never breaks.

In these middle hours I will learn

that your blue gaze has no end,

that our ocean eyes will always mush into marble

when we’re talking close,

that you fall asleep with a book in your hands

which I’ll gently pull out each night

and lay on the nightstand.

You will watch me dance down the street

after an afternoon drink

like I am floating on the whispers of dandelions.


When I look back to find you laughing and

reaching out your hands to hold me,

we will forget how long it took to find each other,

knowing only that there are still so many years left to love.

April Leavenworth is an educational therapist and writer of poetry and creative nonfiction based in Charlottesville, Va. A native New Englander, April graduated from Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program. More of her writing can be found on Instagram @april_aleepoetry.