Two Poems by Reuben Jackson






Long Distance Love

A friend sends
A picture of three chickens
Standing in a kind of
On a road where
The snow has begun
To retreat

I tell her
I was singing the theme from
Green Acres
Last evening,

And thinking
About people
Who move to rural places
In search of serenity-
While also thinking
“This village could use a Trader Joe’s “

As for myself
I am smitten
With mountains –

Majestic but

And the way
The silence calms me
Like Miles Davis
Playing a muted,
tender ballad –
my friend says
he mastered
after two years
singing the evening sky

Sunday in East Glover

Two lane roads twist
Like an awkward boy
At a house party.

Chamber of Commerce
Autumnal breezes whisper

“It’s ok to be
an October smitten brother
in a corny plaid jacket
which screams
I too fell in love
With travel agency fairy tales
About this place!

I am a concrete-weary man
En route to a tryst
With trees and silence

I wave to blushing hills –
Check the rear view mirror
For police suffering from a drought
Of quotas

But now
The day is as calm
as my blackness
was unsettling
for the woman
in the General Store

Reuben Jackson is the Archivist with the University of The District of Columbia’s Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. His poems have been included in over 50 anthologies, and in two volumes—fingering the keys (Gut Punch Press, 1990), and Scattered Clouds (2019, Alan Squire Publishing) He also co-hosts The Sound Of Surprise on WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C.

Image: Artaxerxes, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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