An Afternoon Interlude John Grey Poetry

local_library An Afternoon Interlude

by John Grey

Published in Issue No. 260 ~ January, 2019

Guilt bows down before the simplicity of

why not?

It’s late afternoon.

On come trousers.

A shirt is hastily buttoned.

Light is withdrawing from the room.

And this is not the sex that ends in sleep.

Even small talk is curtailed.

She’s still curled up in the sheets and says nothing.

You trust in her silences.


A litany of duties is laid out before you.

You must become once more

the other guy,

the one who calls in at the store for milk,

whose wife is even now

peeling onions for that night’s supper,

her eyes tearing up

as if they know more than she does.


And there’s the boy’s lacrosse game to be attended.

And the girl’s homework

to be fortified by your presence.

There are lives lived beyond your life

that you need to account for.

Not just the one with the lovely throat,

that fancy melody of lips and hair.


You invoke “family man”

like it’s a secret identity.

No time to wonder

who shows his true face,

who wears the mask.


So off you drive,

foot to the floor,

aping an ambulance,

hell-bent to save a life

or be on time for your next appointment.














account_box More About

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.