John Grey‘s poem: The Lowly Sympathiser.

The Lowly Sympathiser

There she was, brain like a hurricane,

and a story that could have filled

a hundred pages of a book.

She was sobbing like a cinema crowd

watching “Mildred Peirce”

and her arms stretched to all continents

but settled on me.

Her legs shook down to feet

as bare as a corpse in an autopsy,

while the wind under her sleeveless dress

kept her knees at bay.

She ran on about the man she never

should have married,

tongue slipping from one fault of his to the next,

and my stuttered replies felt disembodied,

while my hands were out of practice,

hadn’t been sympathetic in years.

But she was all dark

and I was a cheap department store flashlight.

“Maybe in the next life,” she sighed,

“I won’t be so stupid.”

Meanwhile, in this life,

she needed someone to be there

and that was me.

I just happened to be there

and that was me also.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Floyd County Moonshine. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and Open Ceilings.

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