“A Man is Not Supposed to Give in to Tears” by Greg Moglia

Greg Moglia

A MAN IS NOT SUPPOSED TO GIVE IN TO TEARS

Especially when reading a book review in Starbucks
A therapist might call it depression
But I don’t give a damn
The review—Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road
About the end of the world as we know it
And a father and son as survivors
And the line at Starbucks is longer
Than the line for communion at church
McCarthy writes When there’s nothing else
Construct ceremonies out of the air
See I’m crying about the line at Starbucks
Wise asses would say sure
Four bucks for a cup of coffee deserves a cry
Across the street the Mex workers on a break look on
Come to think of it, I have never seen one in line
No matter McCarthy again When you die it’s the same
As if everyone else did too
Death and all that, but these tears?
Because it seems so close and I have
A grandchild and two more on the way
And mostly I like the world
And the air in autumn is the sweetest
Yes, sweeter even than spring
Autumn and the bit of death it brings
My agreement with the Big Guy
I’ll take a piece of you, but not full tilt
Not the whole show and look at the construction site
Who said If nature is so great then why these structures?
See the bricklayers minus helmets and the wind has picked up
And how many bricks on the edge and I am alive
Because the hammer that fell off the building
Struck my father not on his skull, but on his nose
So I get to wait for the day of the bombs
Lucky, lucky me but my new grandchild, my Jarrett
Has so many days to go, so many days

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007

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Greg Moglia: “Why poetry? A frail old man moves slowly to the podium, reads a poem about a schoolboy and Haley’s comet, another about his two sisters, another about a slap in the face. I am in tears, I wipe, and more tears. Stanley Kunitz stops. I start.”