Janet Buck: Selected Poems
Poetry » June 2002

Passing On

George died.
At the funeral the priest was speechless.
And so his brother said:

"George was strange.
Wouldn't write with ballpoints pens.
Preferred fountain pens.
Said they really scratched the paper.
Said he could always spill the ink bottle
and fill an empty moment."

George embarrassed Mother.
After they painted the old brick walls of City Hall
gray and white, George sanded for 48 hours straight.
Spent a month in jail for it.

In the white-paint dust on the sidewalk
he inscribed:

"You ought to know you stupid pricks,
It's mortal sin to paint those bricks.
Had God wanted 'em seen in white or gray,
He'd simply have changed the color of clay."

What can I say?

George was odd.
Didn't like women.
Said they flawed his self-sufficiency.
Hated school.
Said there was only one way to spell principle.

In his last dying breath,
George uttered:

"Bury me with my books.
I can read while Iím waiting."

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Janet Buck is a three-time Pushcart Nominee and the author of four collections of poetry. Her work has recently appeared in Three Candles, PoetryBay, Red River Review, Runes, Stirring, The Concrete Wolf, Blue Sap, Branches, The Carriage House Review, Facets, Words, The Circle, Sand to Glass, The American Muse, and hundreds of journals world-wide. In 2002, Buck's poetry is scheduled to appear in Artemis, The Montserrat Review, Literary Potpourri, Recursive Angel, Apples & Oranges, Pig Iron Malt, Gertrude, The Pedestal Magazine, Southern Ocean Review, and The Pittsburgh Quarterly.

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