Monday, March 31, 2014

This Town

By John Grey

I won’t remember I was ever in this town.
The river that runs through it is nothing special,
the usual brown, the mandatory tire hooked on a rock.
There’s one main street with hardware store,
a restaurant whose waitresses wear blue and white aprons
and where flies stand sentry at the meringue.
And let’s not forget the closed-up cinema that
didn’t make it as a Saturday flea-market and
the mildewed poster for “Dirty Harry” still plastered to its wall.
I will forget the bars, both of them.
And the jukebox where no song is less than twenty years old.
Also, the motel that never will get its neon fixed.
And the cop who shoots the breeze with the farmer
in his pickup with the bags of seed up back.

This town has no place in my memory.
I’d be sorry for that if it weren’t just the latest
of a thousand towns just like it that I’ve passed through,
erased from my brain when I am barely out the other side
and speeding by one more corn-field.
Sorry, young man of twenty one or so in your faded overalls.
Likewise, kid running with your mangy dog.
And young girl, sure you’re pretty and pretty girls
do get recalled more than most
but my head is already cluttered with beautiful women.
Even if you are the best that this place has to offer,
there’s still no room for you.

I confess that, at my age, there’s much emptiness
all along the timeline.
If you asked me anything I did when I was thirty three, say,
I’d stare at you as blankly
as the effect that this town has on me.
I don’t remember being thirty three.
I won’t remember I was ever in this town,
sitting up late, TV on but sound off,
scribbling my reflections down on motel notepaper.
Years from now, I may even come across them in my files.
It’ll be evidence that this town really does exist.
But the author will undoubtedly elude me.


John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Fox Cry Review.

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