Two Poems by John Grey

On the Way to the Job

Another morning.
Traffic’s where I live.
It moves. It stops.
It stops some more.
Only traffic can freeze the scenery.
Only traffic can reduce the world
to the bumper stickers of the car in front,
the face of the driver
in the rear-view mirror.
Luckily, I’m going someplace
I do not wish to be.
This is my preferred speed.
It almost doesn’t get me there.

Morning in the Alley

Sunrise seizes on those
already with cheap gin on the tongue
like a slow, non-violent reflex action,
sets aside some shadow for the alley
but shines a thimbleful of light
on gray eyebrows, malted hair.
The world is busy elsewhere
but these men sit still
for whatever the sunshine brings,
everything patient about them
except their thirsts.
The day seeks out trembling lips.
shaking lingers.
a bottle passed around like gold,
a few cuss words
and an itching of the groin,
Dawn knows where to get a drink
at this time in the morning.

John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He was recently published in New Plains ReviewStillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana ReviewColumbia College Literary Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Please note: Poetry is compressed to fit smart phone screens. If you are reading this poem on a phone screen, please turn your screen sideways to make sure that you are seeing correct line breaks for this poem.

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