Issue > Poetry
John Hart

John Hart

John Hart grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. His work has appeared in the Antioch Review, Hopkins Review, The Southern Review, Verse Daily, and Washington Square Review.

At A Funeral, You Realize You Haven't Said Beauty In Years

and imagined the old country,
which you never visited—girls white with sun
calling dobro jutro outside a shuttered window.

You hadn't been brought up to believe
changing the setting might change the subject,
so you don't know why you think of it here,
the body having just been blessed
where the communion rail used to be,
potatoes boiling for salad
like it is Sunday—a gas stove blistering
the late morning and vinegar souring the air.

You'll return,
like a movie scene in a cemetery—
you know the one—the sun setting through trees
and no one kneeling in the freshly rooted sod.
You'll button your jacket and fold your arms
though it will be spring.
When the temperature gets down to fifty,
you'll shiver and say you don't.
But you won't be able to fib for long.  
The world is trying to off itself in the old country too,
as it always has, one person at a time.  

Today, you admire the lack of show,
his John Deere hat, like the hood ornament
of some sturdy machine, not in the casket.  
It hangs off a rack
at home, sweat stained and waiting for his wife
who waits to weep. It's not a luxury
remembering vinegar. And things like vinegar.


Alessandra Lynch

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Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar