John Grey

Cross This Field

Yes, I’ve loved many women,
crossed many fields,
mourned entire families of the dead,
and broken lots of toothpicks
that did duty after meals.

I’ve been integral to places
or merely an observer, watching,
waiting, in love, out of love,
crossing fields because the breeze,
the fluttering grass, seemed like
the quickest route to peace.

And these eyes have shed buckets
for the victims of the pile-up on 295,
ones known to me, mother and father,
daughter and two sons, flesh burned,
car crumpled, bones snapped like toothpicks.

I’ve learned to feel without the use
of any fingers, loved people,
even the dead, been through times
when all the wanting in the world
couldn’t make a Lazarus out of
one begotten soul and there’s
been days when nothing bothered
me more than the bits of food
between my teeth.

I keep loving even when
there’s no one to love.
I’m always on the lookout for those fields.
There’s not a one that I don’t stop for.
Some even smooth my way with tombstones,
crosses like toothpicks, broken then repaired.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

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