A Poem by John Grey

A hitchhiking woman got into my car, twenty five I’d say,
face on the cusp of pretty to hardness, she talked a lot,
I listened and drove, her life story, just about every moment
leading up to where she was now, like one of those movies
told in flashback, wretched home-life, crazy boy-friends,
drugs and booze, abortions, and a one year stint as singer
in a rock band though, in her words, “I couldn’t sing for shit.”

That’s it, forget her name, remember the details, no not even
that but the telling of the details, how they replaced the miles,
the landscape, for a time, no longer boring but pulled together
from a heroin habit she kicked and a taste for broken men
she never tried to, but eventually, even the sordid chapters
of her being became predictable, monotonous, until her
voice was flat land, her adversities were wheat-fields, the
needles sticking from her arm were just a string of silos,
and the sex, the intimate aspects, no more alluring than the
distant farmer in his harvester churning up the soil

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and the MacGuffin

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