Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Friday, July 23, 2010


by John Grey

Mr D. Always Mr D. We ate him with the roast
on Sundays. His shadow tucked us in.
Our every breath was at the bequest of his oxygen.

We were remarkable in no way. We caught
frequent colds, whined obsessively some said,
and cussed when pencils broke and dogs barked.

We were like iron filings brushed up by
the magnet of his name, his latest doings.
He was soon bigger than the sum of us.

He was the house we lived in, the gardens,
the lawn, the streets, the neighbors
We'd see a movie and he'd be everyone in it.

We'd pick up a newspaper, read nothing
but his stories. What ever happened to him?
May as well ask how did the moon

bloom up in the sky like an apple
hanging from its invisible bough -
his apple, his apple ripe and ready

to pluck and eat when we are on
our death-beds, our bodies mushy,
almost gravy, about to be sopped up

by the sheets and he's still massive
and muscular and handsome with a reach
and a dazzle to mix it with the stars.

We were just coffee stains on his shirt anyhow,
the nails he clipped that would have been
swept under the sofa or out the door

if we did not resist a little
by living these ordinary lives.
What did happen to him?

How could they have broken up so long ago?
Say his name now and her head shakes.
And it's not even his neck that does the shaking.

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