Tuesday, October 20, 2015

James Babbs- Three Poems

The Day She Said Goodbye

I saw a tree without leaves
near an empty field
I watched a line of geese
moving across the sky
drove my car for endless miles
but didn’t get anywhere
when night came
I felt the chill in the air and
I shivered
before putting the heat on
when I got home
I sat in the driveway
waiting for the song to end
before turning off the engine and
getting out of the car
I made my way toward the house
walking slowly through the dark

Since the Fall

Saturday night and
I’m driving back
from visiting my Mom
she’s been in the nursing home
for over a year now
ever since the fall
after her time in the hospital
was all used up and
she can’t walk
she can’t use her hands
she just sits in her room
with all the lights turned off
when I come in
I ask her
if she knows who I am
I know
this is where she’s going to
spend the rest of her life
when I’m ready to leave
she says
she doesn’t want me to go
she keeps telling me
she might die
before I make it back
I put my arm around her
telling her
I love her
I don’t know
what else to say
when I get on the highway
I set the cruise at 75
traffic’s heavy tonight and
I find some blues on the radio
settle myself in for the long drive
thinking about
the two bottles of wine
the six or seven beers
chilling in the fridge
waiting for me at home
if it’s not too late
I’ll think about calling somebody
ask them what they’re up to
see if there’s anything going on


I wish
I mattered to someone
I wish
I didn’t have to
feel lost all the time
walking under naked trees
beneath the bone-white sky
and it’s always cold here
it always feels like winter time
when the snow falls
I think of angels
some days
I dream about love
dark moments
frozen in time
the road ahead
especially at night
when you’re traveling alone
the snow blowing
and drifting
the wind rising up
crying out your name

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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