Visionary at 55
She’s older than she ever imagined
but living where she thought she would.
She sits out on her patio, which is
right where she once believed it to be,
admiring the close cut green lawn,
and the husband raking up the last of the cuttings.
A raised ranch. She never deluded herself that
brick mansions were in her future. But she knew
better than tenements. And the suburbs of course.
Three children. Two of them married. One still in college.
At twenty one, she saw her life and there they were.
Likewise the two cars, one Japanese, one American.
Her husband wipes his brow. She knew she’d end up
with nothing less than a brow-wiper.
He’s the one she had in her head long before she met him.
No dream-boat. Unless, of course, reality is a dream.
Poem to the Naturalist Father
This is not the nature you promised me,
a buck dead at the side of the road,
struck by a car, booted into a ditch,
a cold brown rump rising out of early
morning fog, a couple of crows
on a bough above eying a month of meals.
You said there’d be beauty and awe,
that instant rush to the heart of witnessing
a living creature in its habitat,
that we’d be quiet interlopers
in the earth’s infant age,
not next up in this robust line of killers
behind our wheels like tank gunners,
thumping the last remnants of the natural world
May as well turn around now and go back home.
The bear in the berry bushes can only fear us.
The flashlight in the barred owl’s eyes
would illuminate nothing but its own demise.
We’d turn the groundhog’s den into a refugee camp,
make fishers and muskrats our prisoners of war.
The deer is dead. You didn’t warn me.
What should have been an end in itself
is now the end of everything.
JOHN GREY is an Australian-born poet who works as financial systems analyst. His work was recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, What Fears Become. Upcoming work will appear in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon.