Poetry ~ Larry Wright
The Hate Poem
That guy behind me. He chews his food too loudly.
I hate that guy.
That woman. The one who wears flip flops in December? In Alaska?
I hate her.
That guy who leaves his car running while he runs in to use the ATM at the bank?
This isn't Fairbanks in the winter. It's Sitka, and its May!
Someone should steal his car. He deserves it.
I hate him.
Whoever it is that walks by my bedroom window late at night?
Chatting merrily with the other loud drunk at full volume?
As they follow the sidewalk to the next bar?
I hate him. I hate his drinking buddy too.
I hate that woman who calls
to ask for money I don't have.
I hate her voice.
It's too nice.
Too hard to say no to.
I hate her.
That guy on TV para-sailing off the back of his mega yacht?
I hate him.
The skinny, tanned supermodel
Watching from the white sand beach?
I hate her too.
I stopped drinking that beer they're selling years ago anyway.
It is so easy to hate when it just stays in my head.
So easy when its not out loud and in their face.
So easy when its not really real.
Its just sticking pins in the voodoo doll
Of myself that I have inside my head.
I wonder what it takes for them to do it.
Those people who can say it out loud
Who can say it to your face.
Preach it on TV while they ask for your money.
Proclaim it on TV while they tell you how to vote.
The ones who can unleash their monsters for real.
I hate them too.
I send my grandson off to sleep each night
a hug and kiss to send him on his way
gladly exchanging those small treasures
while he is still young enough to think them great.
Each night he slips quickly to bed, lights out
head to pillow and I swear, a breath or two: asleep.
So quickly he accepts the end of the day
closing his eyes, eager to open them tomorrow
and discover yet another new world.
I think of how slowly sleep comes for me, my 60
compared to his 6 and I know it is because my eyes close
grudgingly on the day I'm in; less confident today
than I was yesterday that there will be a tomorrow.
So I pray for him, in the humble way I do.
The way that requires no church or piety. I pray
each night as I look beyond everything I know
and ask again that he have far more nights than I.
Nights filled with dreams of bright tomorrows.
Brighter dreams and better dreams
and better chances of living them than I.
Larry Wright was born in the Sitka, Alaska in 1954 and during the half a dozen decades between then and now he’s been seen and heard in Sitka as a bad singer, a worse comedian and a mediocre actor. Those dubious skills having fled him over the years, he has returned to the pen and keyboard in a further attempt to expose himself in public without getting arrested.