The 5:32

written by Phyllis McGinley

The 5:32

— Phyllis McGinley

She said, If tomorrow my world were torn in two,
Blacked out, dissolved, I think I would remember
(As if transfixed in unsurrendering amber)
This hour best of all the hours I knew:
When cars came backing into the shabby station,
Children scuffing the seats, and the women driving
With ribbons around their hair, and the trains arriving,
And the men getting off with tired but practiced motion.

Yes, I would remember my life like this, she said:
Autumn, the platform red with Virginia creeper,
And a man coming toward me, smiling, the evening paper
Under his arm, and his hat pushed back on his head;
And wood smoke lying like haze on the quiet town,
And dinner waiting, and the sun not yet gone down.

About the poet


Phyllis McGinley

Phyllis McGinley (March 21, 1905 - February 22, 1978) was an American writer of children's books and poet about the positive aspects of suburban life.[1] McGinley was born in Ontario, Oregon. At age 3, her family moved to Colorado, and on to Ogden, Utah after her father died. She studied at the University of Southern California and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, graduating in 1927. She then taught at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York for one year, until her career as a writer and poet took off. Her poems were published in the New York Herald Tribune and The New Yorker, among others. She also wrote the lyrics for a musical revue, Small Wonder, in 1948. In 1955, she was elected...

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