A meditation on retirement
Sloppings of slush, sardine-tin overcrowding,
sweat-sticky seats, asphyxias of exhaust—
yes, I’m on record as having loathed it all,
but it comes at a cost, this slug-a-bed new freedom.
I miss things: swooping, diving, passionate voices
in several African tongues, so far beyond me
they might as well have beamed from the constellations.
My high-school Spanish as panting, short-legged spaniel
chasing the real deal, el mero mero,
across and back, words whacked like soccer balls.
A dozen hijabs in bridal-party brocades.
Church ladies, glorious in their faith, their hats.
Where but at city bus stops would I learn
the whole well-structured, thespian script of the panhandler,
the straight spine of the man led off in handcuffs?
Where but far in the back would I overhear
first-person testaments on criminal justice?
In clouds of diesel fumes and of unknowing
I was kept humble, like those pavement pigeons
at transfer points, annoying, breasted with rainbows.
About the author
Maryann Corbett is the author of five books of poems, most recently In Code. Her work appears in journals on both sides of the…Read the full bio
Issue 24 · Autumn 2021
Table of contents
- Two Poems by Nick Conrad
- Three Poems by Dinah Ryan
- Two Poems by Daisy Bassen
- Three Poems by Carl Boon
- Two Poems by Patricia Behrens
- Upon Entering the Unknown University
- Two Poems by Christine Potter
- Earthly Possessions
- The Overflowing Suitcase on a Bus Stop Bench
- Two Poems by Nathaniel Calhoun
- Blessing of the Animals
- Why Honey Matters
- Two Poems by Rimas Uzgiris
- Missing Buses
- The Trek
- Red Coat
- Watching a Late Autumn Thunderstorm
- Two Poems by Rick Mullin
- ON O’HARA’S BIRTHDAY
- I Travel Back in Time
- Postcard Prose