The poetry of John Grey

The Openings in My Life

So where have they gone?
Not exactly vanished off
the face of the earth.
But Thailand may as well be another planet.
That’s where Dirk is teaching.
And Amy’s method of breaking up
“that old gang of mine”
was having babies,
three at last count.
And what is it about Guam
that attracts my best and brightest?
Of course, the west coast
has always been a gathering place
for the people missing from my life.
Mark is in Los Angeles.
Big Julie has shrunk a little
now he’s surrounded by Big Sur.
And even some of those I’ve forgotten
call California home.
I remember where they went
more than I recall who they were.
And then there’s Joey.
He and I are no longer speaking,
for reasons unknown to me as it happens,
so no less real for all that.
Part of it is hanging out with the ambitious.
They go where the opportunities lie.
And, of course, there’s that clique
too restless to be part of any clique.
They follow everything from their moods
to their hearts to the first road sign they see.
And they don’t look back at where I’m living.
So why is it that, despite the many who’ve moved on,
I don’t feel left behind?
There’s others in my circle now,
people I never knew
back when I knew the ones
I know no longer.
They could stick around.
Or they could end up going elsewhere.
And then there’s the sad case of Miranda
who drowned while swimming in a lake.
I know where she is.
But I refuse to let this thought go there.


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

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