Roger Bernard Smith – said, standstill




leave it where it was

you’ll make it worse

by rubbing whatever compound

it is in your mind

the best way is to have these conversations

with your backs to one another

trembling from what you may hear next

steadfastly refusing to turn around

when there is silence


what I said was if I hear Sweet Georgia Brown one more time
I’m going to avoid Atlanta altogether and head on down
to Tallahassee without remembering how I got there

overshooting poorly marked turn-offs with their general stores
sand-blasted pickup trucks that the economic recovery
hasn’t replaced with a new government-made Silverados yet

how far would you go to let yourself be convinced
you hadn’t missed a road here and there in favor of simply
liking the landscape more than being right for a change

you’d have to suffer a breakup freakout to be torpedoing
your headlights through smoky unforgiving uncaring
dangerous air of nights this far from home

what if I said I’m not sorry but just scared and even that
will go away once there’s a familiar face facing me across
the table and when that’s gone I’ll begin being truly sorry



‘standstill’ was first published in Blood Orange Review, vol.6.1

Roger Bernard Smith is a 75 year old poet whose poems have appeared in a dozen journals.  His first chapbook is being published in February 2014 by Tiger’s Eye Press, Denver CO.  He teaches writing in the Mohawk Valley Institute For Learning in Retirement (MVILR) at SUNYIT, Utica, NY. He lives in the foothills of the  Adirondack  Mountains.



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