Poem: Tucson | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Poem: Tucson 

The last time I saw my good friend the codger,
he was as alert as I had ever known him,
his poetry as Existential, but his knuckles
were red with arthritis. They were inflamed,
I supposed, by the dropping barometric pressure of
an approaching late-season snow storm.

In gravely Brooklynese, he told me
that the Irish Navy had eight ships and
that they were all named after writers.

He added that one ship was permanently stationed
in the Mediterranean to help save Syrian refugees.

Toasting life, and its struggles, we dismissed ex-pat New Yorkers
who move to Florida or Arizona in search of paradise.

He told me he didn’t keep a notebook anymore.
He said that if an idea is valuable enough, “it’ll be back.”
He also said that thoughts can haunt you.

He said that he’d been to Tucson once, back in 1956,
back before snowbirds and the sprawl.

He had known a girl there. She was living in a trailer on the
outskirts of town; right in the desert, surrounded by a saguaro
cactus forest. Her estranged husband had mental problems and
had been institutionalized, but was released for “good behavior.”
While out, he beat her to death.

My old friend said, some thoughts haunt you your
whole life “and they aren’t worth a dime.”

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