5TH ISSUE LITERATURE

Just Another Man

Just Another Man
Les Wicks

My sown grass is wilting before eyes.
The window is blameless
any gasp is a guilty plea
I deserve every punishment
that scowling sun may deliver.

Several women I’ve loved are on the jury.
They have met, a verdict is imminent
& all my hopes are struck from the record as perjury.
This humidity will kill me.

The real person down inside isn’t pretty.
Prison orange clashes with my tan, the
thinning hair could use some product.
Self-loathing is not the same
as emotional reparation. I’m trying again,
Dee says it counts for nothing. I’m
trying again & Rhonda thinks not hard enough.

This trial will end
or heal me. I’m the courtroom’s
flat-pack furniture, some scratches already,
assembly instructions lost, shelf stud missing
particle board 12-month-lifetime guarantee. Nothing
Georgian going on here just
another construct in a heatwave.

So I swelter in recrimination.
What purpose or gain? Personal change?
Like weight loss a perennial excuse or aspiration.
If they weren’t right I’d be a victim but
there’s an escape clause. Down by the river
other men are waiting. Few words & practical joinery tips, their
stipes or pergola kits. Prison has no walls &
they are waiting for me.

Over 40 years Wicks has performed widely across the globe. Published in over 350 different magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 28 countries in 15 languages. Conducts workshops & runs Meuse Press which focuses on poetry outreach projects like poetry on buses & poetry published on the surface of a river. His 14th book of poetry isBelief (Flying Islands, 2019). 

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