Ralph Monday is Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., and published in over 50 journals. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Lost Houses and American Renditions is scheduled for publication, May 2015 by Aldrich Press.
These Things that Be
Neither moon, or stars, or sun suffice.
They may as well be a child’s coloring
book stuck on a wall.
Drinking wine from old bottles on the
colonnade while the young girls stroll
by, is no more than the dark end
of a lonesome movie.
I move through these reels in the same
manner that century old radio signals
dissipate in space, traveling at the speed
of light toward some hoped for receiver.
I wonder if these thoughts or musings
like them eventually come to all—maybe
at Thanksgiving dinner or in corridors
full of bright mirrors that blind with a
thousand motes of reflected fragments
gathered together into a letter of life.
See, I would write here that I lost my
faith as a child at Easter when the only
resurrection was a father’s hand lifted
by beer toward my mother in the bedroom.
I stuffed my belief in love away in a cornfield
when I thought of another between your
Or my uncle dead in a tangled wreck on
the interstate somewhere in Ohio, and I
knew at eleven the burden of mortality.
My grandmother wandering senile,
gray headed, silvered mind, from
window to window searching for
the dead husband like retrieving
copper pennies from a wishing well.
I can find no bright lamp to splash
across the pages, only time like a
rotted stump measuring cadence over
worn stones leaving the paper wet
and muddied, blurred movements
like soft, melted crayons,
reminder that all eventually
color outside the lines.