February 12, 2009


stomach growls, thomas moans, betty coughs
why would anyone use the word "bereft"?

it's time for a drink, sick of ads,
plenty of time to do nothing,

having friends over for dinner i could see it all
and excused myself for a little while

pain, a sore neck becoming pressure over the chest
and a chopin score i got for free on the internet

waits for me over the keyboard, at last,
yes, i am teaching myself to play the piano

dull, life is what you try to make of it, and you tell
me jack daniel died because of an ill-fated tantrum

spend a summer in halifax, nova scotia,
parents do weird stuff like this when ageing badly

but so am i, so is thomas but not betty, who at 32
looks more gorgeous than ever and i did kiss her lips

that day we dare not remember for friendship's sake,
like, yeah, why not again, but the kettle's whistling

i had it all for a while, a dog, some money,
a decent job, a girlfriend named allison

i'm getting old, i'm losing ground, i'm past
my bedtime and this smile you see is completely fake

josh douglass (Milbank, SD, 1975)