John Grey, July 2013


It is a morning that begins
with a disturbance, with me gripping my
daughter’s hand tightly as if

to hold her down in a hurricane.
Behind the noise and bustle,
there’s my instinct to not let go.

It is moving day next door,
heavy bass notes of the truck
backed up into their driveway,

the scrape of furniture on concrete,
fine polished teak and rosewood
exposed to the grit of traffic

like a well-bred lady having sex
with a sailor. But only the larger
pieces step from house to truck

so naked. Most things are
in boxes, clues to lifetimes
concealed from our prying eyes.

My daughter asks me where are
they going and then what’s in the
crates without breath as if they

are just part of the same question.
I turn my ignorance of my neighbors
into my intimate knowledge of my

own family. We would never treat
our piano, our four-poster, so thoughtlessly,
I tell her. We would never pack up

our most precious things so uniformly,
so generically, as if a stack of
old magazines was equal to a favorite doll.

We would certainly never allow such
a grunting, groaning, diesel fueled
invasion of our familiar lives.

If we left, we would leave the things
behind too large, too cumbersome,
too much a part of where they are now.

We would take the few private things,
singly, carefully, clutching them to us
as we made our exit.

I tell her we would not leave like
neighbors leave. We would leave like she
will leave some day.



John Grey is an Australian born poet, works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Sanskrit and Osiris.


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