On This Clear Night by John R. Monagle

Riding the bus after another day
on the same job, caged in the same cubicle
where neglected books and paper piles
gather dust years deep, I do not feel
better knowing it could be worse.

Getting off at the bus stop, I ache
for my friend stricken by Lou Gehrig’s disease
and the coming day when he can no longer
hug his wife or hold his baby daughter.

As I cut through the college campus,
I do not see the woman I desire
nor desire the women I see. I look at students
in the classroom and feel a heavy weight
that a father is in sorrow for his six year old girl
shot to death at school. I walk my unruly god.
I want my angry stare to kill the dark.

On a path in the grass patch next to the trees,
I pass a man walking his dog who is well behaved.
As the man says hello, the dog stops to look at me,
wondering if I am friendly or crazed.
I hear skinny Mick’s voice in my head,
you can’t always get what you want
but if you try sometimes you just might find
you get what you need
.

Under the street lamp glare swimming
in misty air over the parking lot,
these burdens are lifted. My grievances,
like airplane lights, ascend to the crescent moon.

John R. Monagle
John_Monagle-profile_optJohn R. Monagle is a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He resides in Rockville, Maryland and works at The Library of Congress. He is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts Degree at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has published poems in Wordwrights in 2002, and Bourgeron in 2010 as well as The Edge Literary Review.