George Drew was born in Mississippi and raised there and in New York State, where he currently lives. He is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently The Horse’s Name Was Physics, from Turning Point Press; a third, American Cool, was released by Tamarack Editions in 2009; and a fourth, The Hand that Rounded Peter’s Dome, will be released by Turning Point in 2010. Drew is the winner of the 2008 South Carolina Review Poetry Prize, and he is the runner-up for the 2009 Chautauqua Literary Journal Poetry Contest, which also nominated him for a Pushcart Prize.
Edgar Allen Poe in a Green Recliner
Sometimes the footrest up and the back
down lulls him into calling up the last time
he saw his dying wife. This lasts only moments,
what he’s called up more than he can take,
snapping him back to himself in a panic over
what he doesn’t remember and what he does.
She gave him this chair. She had it for years
and it’s worn and battered, threadbare,
and through the ripped mesh bottom clumps
of yellow stuffing drop. Good thing he’s not
down in New Orleans: down/drown is
too much rhyme for him. His wife began
her dying in Baltimore, ended it in the Bronx,
both a long way from New Orleans, and
a long way from here. Sometimes hoping
to escape the facts and fictions of his memory,
he falls asleep in the chair. Sometimes it works,
sometimes it doesn’t. Soon he’ll have to junk
the chair, exposing all it’s made of, vermin
and mold settling in, brazen and creepy.
Waiting in Dunkin’ Donuts for Mr. Slattery
The door closes on the kind of November day
nobody was waiting for: cold wind blowing,
cloudy, gray. Because the register tape
is being replaced I get a coffee free.
I get the corner table I like best.
I settle in, waiting for Mr. Slattery.
NUNS ATTACKED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT,
the headline thunders. There goes the coffee,
its caffeine curtailed, here comes November,
rattling the plate glass. Right then,
Mr. Slattery walks in—Mr. Slattery,
his smiling Irish self, survivor of two
hip replacements, one bad marriage, years
of alcohol, and prostate surgery. Right then,
out comes the sun, spilling across the floor
like barrels of dumped beer, and with it
the kind of November day everybody waits for.