H A R R Y  G R I S W O L D: Poet, Photographer, and Author of Two Poetry Books

Word from Elsewhere

We dig in the leftovers
bin at the lumberyard
and take another turn at nailing,
screwing and gluing our childhood
together again,
without the slightest aptitude
or way to measure results.
Our jury of one pronounces us
the winner and awards the ribbon.
We see a past that’s not so
complicated, leading to
a present that isn’t this one
with its nest of tangles, on to
a future that can never be that easy.
Eye-witness evidence about
lights, nights and fights
we lived through is weak,
ask any judge about memory.
Your mother in her housedress
kept herself out of jail
while raising you and the tulips,
but things could have gone
awry any time a cocksure witness
took the stand. One old woman
in a housedress might look to him
like any other.
Unindicted to the end,
she showed the way
and got aboard her free ride
on a westbound train out of here.

—From Just Enough Clothes, Garden Oak Press (2014)

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