JOHN TUSTIN – 2 POEMS

NOTHING SADDER

Nothing sadder than dirty snow,

a car with no tires,

a dead fawn in the water

or a man and a woman who’ve learned to hate each other.

Nothing sadder than empty bottles in the gutter,

a house with a sagging roof,

an empty cupboard

or a child who’s gone astray

except for a poem

that’s just a list.

~

THIN AS A RAIL

I was seventeen

and thin as a rail,

as grandma used to say,

5’11 and not even 140 lbs.

It was Sunday morning

in a New York winter

and the sun was shining

and I was shivering

as I went hatless and gloveless,

unprepared as usual,

from my friend Emily’s house

to the store on the corner

for a quart of orange juice.

My hair longish

and my jeans too tight,

it’s odd the things I remember now

when I’ve forgotten everything else.

It was a winter morning,

it was a Sunday,

the sun was powerful.

Eddie and I stayed over Emily’s house Saturday night

getting drunk on scotch

and then it was morning

and I wanted orange juice.

I was thin as a rail

and I didn’t know what-the-hell.

I had already written 1000 poems.

None have survived.

I can’t remember any of them as well

as that Sunday morning,

walking down Emily’s steps

to the corner store –

doing nothing of any importance.

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