Greg McBride: “I’m Old, I Hear Things”


Deck chimes chime and sing
of early rain.The TV drones
of rockets, of new old stars
still silent, still to be named.
My voiceless mother sounds
my name while I arrange
what’s left of the hollow
that was home. Their frayed chair
winces as I sit, their table moans.
Strung laser-like from one old war
to now, the live-wire fire
of tinnitus stridulates
in fixed-track monotone.
China clatters to the table,
a ruckus he would hate;
in our house there could be
but one ruckus-maker
of the plates. Knives scrape
across her raised gold leaf.
Louder still, her absence.

Greg McBride is the author of Porthole (Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry, Briery Creek Press, 2012) and Back of the Envelope (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2009). His work appears in Bellevue, Boulevard, Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review Online, River Styx, Southern Poetry Review, and Salmagundi. He is a Vietnam veteran and founding editor of the Innisfree Poetry Journal.

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