The 2River View  

Robert Nazarene

Cry, Baby

When I drove to the post office
I got something I didn’t want.
When I went to the doctor
I got something I didn’t want, too.
The brakes on my car
made a sound something like 
metal grinding on metal. 
That had to be something
I didn’t want.
My girlfriend & I had a fight.  
Late that night I got a phone call:
connected to a boot. 
What did she want from me?
I  wanted something:
a drink, to get lost. That,
I got, my first in fifteen years.
That week, my mother &
father died 24 hours apart.
That was really something:
bone cancer & Parkinson’s.
I was shook.
They hadn’t seen one another
for 20 years. They hated
each other. I think.
It was something or other.
I turned into a walking
“Help Wanted” ad, a “Lost
& _______” ad. Mom & Dad
always wanted the best from me,
for me. Or something.  Somethings
run in my family.



The blackboard clung to the wall as if to save itself
from the abyss. Light, wove its way in—but seldom
out—from the tall glass windows. One-by-one
or in little cliques my classmates, no, the others—
took their seats at each oak-lidded desk. Little
acorns. The tile floor gleamed. In its reflection
I watched my mind race like flash cards, felt
the ache in my belly. Earlier that morning,
Mother and Father had quarreled at the break-
fast table. Quarreled is such a polite word. Neat.
Not like the warm, fetid mess pooling in my seat,
then running the length of my brand new 
pant legs.

The children all laughed,
then headed out to their tidy plots
of public dirt.

Then, it was only me
and the janitor, spare and lean like Zeke
in Dick and Jane.
Two losers, come to hate one another.
Mop.  Bucket.  Mess.
Them.  Me.