Sunday, October 13, 2019

Boy with a Guitar by John Grey

I have a picture of myself
at fifteen,
seated on the edge of the bed,
with guitar in hand.
I’m not playing it.
It was still no more than a prop
at that age
and the face is far too innocent
to invoke nascent rock star.

But there it is,
the boy and his instrument,
forever willing to contradict
the man staring into it,
through older eyes,
harder face,
and the doubtful benefit
of life history.

I could tell the kid how he did
in the years to come
but what’s the point of that.
It‘s just a photograph.
He’s not enough in the world
to hear my spiel,
to be disappointed
or even consoling.

For all this glossy’s nostalgic effect,
the conversation’s only ever
with the one
who’s holding it between his fingers.
Yes, I have my share of regrets.
But I don’t share them with this kid.

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

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