Tuesday, October 13, 2015

James Babbs- Three Poems

She Used to Ride Horses

the first time I saw her
I thought she looked familiar
but I wasn’t certain
it took me a little while
but when she came closer
and I saw her smile
I remembered who she was
I told her
you used to ride horses
she said yes
but that was years ago
when I was just a teenager
I nodded my head
but didn’t say anything
caught up in visions of the past
I watched her all over again
riding on the back of her horse
beneath the warm afternoon sun
her long dark hair
cascading over her shoulders
when I looked at her again
I suddenly noticed
how short her hair was
do you still ride I asked
she laughed
and it made a lovely sound
that seemed to linger in the air
no she said
not for a long time
oh I said
and I nodded again
I live in town now she said
the old griffin place
okay I told her
I know where that is
maybe I’ll see you around
she slowly nodded her head
sure she said
it’s not a very big town
I laughed again
rubbed the side of my face
well okay she said
I guess I’ll see you later
I said yeah
then watched her walk away

Some Days Are Better Than Others

I passed a lot of trucks
out on the highway
some of them covered
with brightly-colored lights and
I could see them
miles ahead of me
moving through the dark
I was driving back home
after visiting my Mom
Tuesday night
at the nursing home and
she can’t feed herself
she can no longer use her hands at all
but her mind’s still sharp
81 years old and
when I’m getting ready to leave
she asks me
when I’m coming back
I tell her
soon and
some days are better than others
I catch myself
wondering where I’ll end up
if I manage to live
as long as she has
but it’s not something
I really like to
think too much about

When I Broke the Cookie Open

after returning home
from stuffing myself
at the Chinese buffet
I felt the quick
rush of excitement
the fortune inside read
a shooting star tonight
will bring you good luck tomorrow
and for some reason
instead of throwing it away
like I would’ve normally done
I kept it
as if it meant something
putting it on my desk
where its been sitting
for the past several months
until I discovered it
this morning
some loose pieces of paper
and when I read it over
I thought
before I threw it away

James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).

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