Poetry

December 12, 2014 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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By

John Grey

 

WELCOME TO SUBURBIA

 

 

tree stressed out of all equilibrium

dies from the roots up

 

caterpillar, moth, parasites,

chainsaws all around,

the rush of soil to false freedom

 

house on the hill above,

road through its valley,

truck fumes, home fires…

all manner of exhaustion

 

it’s Shady Acres now

but buds won’t buy into it

 

 

suburban shade

never was its niche

 

so it’s out with the old,

in with the new growth

 

the softest option

sprouts picture-postcard feral

 

the firmest flesh,

a soft, sad, shadowy dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL THESE GIVEAWAYS

 

 

Her coming death

she leaves to the rehearsing mourners,

the ones dribbling at her bedside.

 

“You can have the crystal clock,”

she says to a weeping daughter.

“It hasn’t worked in years.”

 

“And the souvenir Eiffel Tower is yours,”

she adds, handing it to her balding son

like it’s the Oscar for being the only

balding son in the room.

 

It’s more like an auction

than lung cancer

and the buyers have been bidding

all their lives.

 

For her sister, a belligerent cough.

Her brother gets the photograph

of all of them,

the one where he flaunts

a scribbled-in moustache.

 

Ah, if only her mother were alive.

No one else is worthy

of her smoking habit

 

 

 

 

 

john grey

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Oyez Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Big Muddy Review, Willow Review and Louisiana Literature.

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