Of A Wonderful Town

Wonderful town of houses.
farms and shops.
Familiar faces on a cold night,
around the tavern fireplace -
good faces.
No name calling.
A glass eye here or there.
Sears on cheeks hut only ancient ones.

Hands good at most things.
Thirst, much drinking,
but only two true town drunkards
as an example to everyone.
Babies undoubtedly.
In prams.
Pushed down Main Street.
Centers of momentary attention.
A mother at the door.
A son off to the regiment.
Dying in a battlefield is not countenanced.

Gatherings at the feed store
and Hannigan's tractor sales.
And a vegetable stall
where the freshness
is tested to a fanatical degree.
Someone rides a horse into town.
Another parks a rusty truck.
Kids play with nothing
but the pebbles on the street
and are as happy as fools.
That son is killed by the way -
friendly fire if that's any consolation.
And the mother closes that door
and isn't seen hardly ever again.

Wonderful town of houses,
farms and shops.
And a graveyard of course.
And an undertaker.
And a preacher who intones,
"In life, we are in death."
Based on the evidence here,
the opposite is true.


Of A Wonderful Town

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.
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