A Citizen

by John Grey

He fell, face cracked against sidewalk
harder than a Nolan Ryan fast ball.
Time passed. Dazed and nauseous,
he made animal cries for help.
He tried to stand, staggered,
thumped into a pole and dropped
to the ground again.
He was found with a parchment face,
tongue hung to his mouth’s side
and eyes so stiff it was like
they were painted on his forehead.
Only his fingers moved
and slightly, like a dying bird’s wings.
Rescue did their best not to look
like executioners but there was nothing
they could do.
The man’s life was mere prelude
to just such a drop.
Cops searched his pockets for ID.
He had a name. And maybe he had family.
But nothing he could use right then.

 

Artist: Volkan Yavuz

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Muse, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.