Saturday, January 16, 2016

James Babbs- Three Poems

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).

My Mother Was a Night Owl

Monday night and
I’m lying in my bed
eating slices of cold pizza and
watching back to back
reruns of Law & Order
this TV belonged to my mother
but after she died
I brought it home with me
and put it in the bedroom
my mother was a night owl
when I was growing up
I’d awaken
in the middle of the night and
make my way to the bathroom
and she’d be in the living room
without any lights on
watching TV
I remember she liked watching
reruns of The Waltons
Little House on the Prairie
and action movies
starring Sylvester Stallone

The Third Beer

when she got home
I was in the middle of the third beer
she just looked at me
and all she said was
I said
thank god it’s Friday
and raised the bottle over my head
she laughed
it’s only Thursday she said
and went to change her clothes
I finished the beer
then got another one
it’s Friday I said
when she came back into the room
she shook her head
no it’s not she said
are you sure
I asked her
she showed me the calendar
with the windmills on it
the one she got from the bank
then verified it
by handing me her phone
I kept drinking the beer
shit I said
I guess I lost a day somewhere
she laughed
oh well she said
before walking into the kitchen
then coming back with two more beers
she handed one of them to me
then she took a seat
next to me on the couch

Lincoln’s Birthday

I started driving home
a couple of hours after midnight
traveling out on
the dark highway alone
coming up from the south
and I kept seeing wisps of fog
like ghosts dancing
at the edges of my headlights
and it started raining
just outside of Springfield
while I scanned through
stations on the radio
before landing on some jazz
and I thought about a woman
I once knew long ago
who had the same birthday
as Abraham Lincoln
and I remembered
how I tried to tell her
he was our 16th president
and how he freed the slaves
by signing
the emancipation proclamation
but she just laughed
and kept shaking her head
telling me over and over again
how she was never a good student
and she really didn’t know
much about history

1 comment:

  1. Reality of free association of focused imagery which
    exudes energy in states of consciousness.