Three Poems about Ethan

Ethan’s Sadness

From a tiny space
somewhere above his ears
emerges a persistent whisper
You are a failure
always/ nearly always
in the solitude of night.

in everything you have done.
Let me list them.

It would take a long time
the rest of my life.

Ethan has  insights
tons of them.
The world weighs on his head,
but sometimes he feels delight
though you might not know.
There’s an extra pleasure.


Especially in Winter

Ethan is tired of things,
tired of the rains that keep falling
the patter endless
of chatter about this and that.

Even life itself
out and in, this endless breathing
cramming food into our bellies
walking talking sighing,
how long days stretch
all the questions unanswered.

Ethan sometimes wishes he were an innocent
smooth-browed and callow
blind to evil in the world,
but ready for the years ahead.


Ethan Steps Beyond

No one told me
I might grow old.
Already the child
has a tooth missing.

Before you know
what hasn’t sagged has shrunk
Skin and width
brain and length.

I am called to give my address.
I pause, look about me.
The numbers have left.

The very old
have lost chunks of their history
no one left to tell,
pictures flickering
on a computer screen.

At the end we step
hesitantly into our dust.

Robert A. Davies is the author of Timber, Moons and Mendelssohn and Bluff Hollow. His poems have appeared recently in Counterpunch, Hollywood Progressive and Windfall. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Robert A..