Jan/Feb 2009 Poetry

Two Poems

by John Grochalski

Artwork by Robert Hoover


the mother
and her daughter
are sharing bologna
out of a cellophane wrapper.
they are on the late night
and the daughter
is talking about all
the things she is going
to do
and be when she's older.
the bologna they are eating
looks fatty and good,
but the mother
and her daughter
look a little beaten
by the day.
i am always hungry
so i put down
my book
and watch them eat,
hoping to christ
that something finally
works out
for her, me, you
for someone
in this world
other than
the usual suspects
who don't know
but always have
when they eat.


but what do i know?

she talks about homes
and kids
and promotions
while he stands there
medicated and dull
just nodding his head
and saying something
about this year's model
of cars
and the election.
i can't believe this used
to be the guy
who would carry around
cases of beer
and look for people to fight
in parks
after midnight.
but i guess we all grow up.
even i am nursing more
hangovers than usual.
still, i don't know how
he does it
standing there
growing paunchy and gray
as she talks about
people having babies
and how much she wants
a baby
and maybe it's time he that he
asked for a raise.
i look at him.
there's a faint smile
i think he still sees a little light.
but then he turns to me and asks me

if i watched the yankees game
last night
and i know there's no
hope left here
for any of us.


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