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  • Writer's pictureNadia Giordana

John Grey: two poems

Word Flow

In wet, miserable March, wind whisks paper to

my door, from shopping lists to letters

to signs announcing Flea Markets.

I must confess when it comes to what blows

into my realm, only money and words attract me.

I've been drawn to a half rain-soaked

school girl essay and a note once

pinned to a door that read, "Back

in five minutes. Make sure the cat

doesn't escape." As much as I've written

in my life, I've never once put

down those words in that particular order.

Nor have I been somewhere for just five

minutes and felt the world ought to know about it.

1 don't have a cat. I've never had a cat.

I'm allergic to those hairy haughty felines

but the word "cat" doesn't make me break out.

"Ellen, park on the side street" didn't do much

for me but a note announcing the next

meeting of the Neighborhood Betterment Society

intrigued me no end. For a start, the date was

in the past. More evidence that while

meetings come and go, words

are timeless. And second, 1 wasn't invited.

Thus we come to the hidden agenda of words.

In that plain simple proclamation is the inference

that I have nothing to contribute to the betterment

of the neighborhood. A sly look wouldn't

tell me that. Nor would a whisper. Of course,

the meeting notice may have been pinned

and then blown free from my screen door and has spent

the last two weeks or so blowing its way

around the block and back again to where

it started. That's another thing with words.

There's always more than one possible truth

to them. And that meeting, and my absence

from it, still haunts. And, had I gone, I'd probably have

been bored stiff. Words can heighten expectations

that will never be met. That's beyond the combined

abilities of a bunch of regular people getting together

and complaining about the noise at 127. By the

way, today's treasure was the envelope from a missive

sent to my new neighbor from the American Cheese Society,

I've yet to shake hands with the man. But apparently we just met.


The maple tree imagines itself

as Miss Scarlet from Clue.

She'll be done in by

coming winter in the forest

with the wind and drop in temperature.

But by then she won't

be Miss Scarlet at all.

It'll be Colonel Mustard

fluttering in November winds.

Or Professor Plum,

a rush of deeper color

before death.

And by December,

Miss Scarlet, the Colonel, the Professor,

will be long forgotten.

There'll be nothing but frosty, shivering,

skeletal Mrs. White.

I think I know the answer.

It was Reverend Green

in the world

with the seasons.

Published in WINK: Writers in the Know, issue 1

#poetry #JohnGrey

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