Two Poems by John Grey

Sleeping In

I woke up this morning
to the odd sense
of something being missing.
I couldn’t figure
what it was
which could only mean
one thing.
I was what was missing.

So there was
no point getting out of bed.
For who would
throw off the sheets?
Who would swing
their body around,
drop feet to the floor,
lift themselves
up and away
from the mattress?
Not me.
I wasn’t there.

Somebody shouted from below,
“It’s time to get up!”
Someone could hear them clearly.
Thank God it wasn’t me.


Canoeing in the Lake

We nudge our canoe
into the reflection
of the dangling willows,
lured by lowest leaves
brushing tears
from rippling branches.

Paddles offer no threat
to the snowy egret,
stepping slow as a minute hand,
pecking between rocks.

A floating soda can,
the only other sign of humanity
on this reach,
is whisked aboard,
flattened with silent anger.

Then we shift away
from the bank,
something else elemental
catching our eye –
the bobbing tuft of light
farthest from the shore.

We glide back
into open water,
August sky in abundance,
fallow and worry-free.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.

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