Brought to you by Circumstances

You didn’t put this house here
nor did you fill it with these people.
The year, the month, the day, are not your doing.
Your age is only partly your fault,
for failing to slam your car into a tree,
for refusing to catch a deadly strain of pneumonia.

Your current life is a convergence of circumstances
from the street you live on
to the miserable weather
to the last commercial on the tv.

You’d prefer to lie down in the snow.
You’d rather be naked in the dairy aisle of the supermarket.
Please swans, you say to the birds in the park pond,
let me paddle with you a while.

But the walls of the house won’t hear of it.
The bones that hold up the people
hold you up as well.
Time, your age, say nothing doing.
The Street allows no such thing.
The weather didn’t blow up this way
just so you could ignore it.
And what about that commercial,
for white brighter teeth.
You have teeth don’t you.
Yes, those are yours,
the ones with your life attached.

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian-born poet, but has been a US resident since the late seventies. He works as financial systems analyst, and has recently been published in Xavier Review, White Wall Review and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Poem, Prism International and the Cider Press Review. John Grey has been published recently in The Talking River, South Carolina Review and Karamu with work upcoming in Prism International, Poem and The Evansville Review.