Green Hills Literary Lantern

The Edge 


Triassic to the core,

I look over my shoulder.

Admiring my Philco radio,

I grow long in the tooth.


I twist the dark brown dial

To hear Bob Dylan sing

“Well, I ain’t gonna grieve no more, no more.”

Good if you can get away from it,


But all that dark matter,

Consciousness of my friends

Carried to God-knows-where.

Zip me up in heavy matter.


Was I born to put the kibosh

On sadness?

That will be a cold day in Hell.

Every Day I cross the border


Of loss, my passport stamped:

Mourner. Pessimist. Idiot.

Outcast. Oh no.

Not going to sink in that swamp.


The best way to cut the legs

Out from under grief?

No definitive answer here,

But, joy has its own sharp edge.



Louis Phillips’ most recent books are American Elegies, a sequence of poems about American history, published by World Audience, and The Woman Who Wrote King Lear and Other Stories, published by Pleasure Boat Studio)