JOHN GREY – Two Poems

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Fiction, Poetry
Tags: , , , , ,

MARTIN

His tales of how it used to be

are withering on the tongue.

People were always welcome

in each other’s homes.

They shared the water and the fields.

And then the soldiers came.

Or was it the thought or the plague?

How good it was, how bad it was,

are fogged up in his brain.

His wife feeds him from a spoon.

Once, people were always

welcome in each other’s mouths.

But then the spoon came.

Or was it the drought or the plague?

 

 

WAITING FOR A DAUGHTER’S MRI

Instead of worrying, weeping,

I’m expected to read a month-old Sports Illustrated,

where guys born in the ghetto

make it all the way

to the championship game

and the worst that can happen

is to lose with dignity or a big new contract.

 

 

But Rachel’s in the MRI pod.

Close your eyes and imagine

all your favorite princesses, we told her.

Or a lake with gold fish swimming

just below the surface.

An elephant. A beach ball.

Anything but face to face

with the inside contours of a metal cylinder.

I forgot to suggest

a gymnast recovering from a broken leg,

her eyes still set on the Olympics.

 

 

On the other side of the waiting room wall,

the chamber is spinning,

the bed she rests on

is moving in and out.

Someone’s taking pictures of her head.

I’m looking at a close-up of a Laker

reaching up through three Piston defenders

to dunk the basketball.

If the game was her brain,

that’d be a keeper.

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