"My Location" by John Grey

It’s dawn in Providence,

the 23rd of June,

and I’m in a diner,

downing over-easy eggs and guzzling coffee

and trying to put together,

in my head,

the misadventures, coincidences, 

acts of God, turns of the card,

that got me to this place

at this very time.


When I was a kid, I never imagined

that I’d be sitting inside

a long, gray steel cocoon, 

ten thousand miles away,

in the company of a half dozen or so

unshaved strangers,

a couple grumbling to each other,

another reading the paper,

and one with a cap that reads “Teamsters.”


To be honest,

I don’t know what I was thinking then.

Become a rock star, maybe.

Or work on the railways like my father.

How about medicine.

Or rocket science.


But not mopping up yolk

with toast,

not nodding my head

as a waitress asks,

“Would you like more coffee?”

This is the present to be sure.

But it never was the future.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Dalhousie Review , and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Willard and Maple and Clade Song.