John Grey


If you were lost in the woods,

they'd send out men on horses,

even in the cold, the snow.

They'd be scrambling up hills,

fording streams of ice,

to get to you.

If it was your body gone missing,

under siege to bitter weather,

there'd be a way of dealing with it,

a rescue team with blankets, food and water,

first aid, for the moment when they find you,

a great team of them,

loud and sweaty, great beasts stamping,

flinging snow and dead branch,

nostrils shooting smoke.

If you were out there somewhere,

you'd hear them,

would signal with the last of your voice,

would push dying strength to its limit

to make itself known.

But you're sitting opposite me,

trembling, saying "I'm just not ready."

So it begins with you being found,

but still the men come

screaming out your name,

tearing up earth, smashing brush,

on horses, so huge, so unwieldy,

they threaten to crush your skull.

They want your blankets, food and drink...

cold men, hungry men, thirsty men.


John Grey has recently been published in the Georgetown Review, The Pinch, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal. He has work upcoming in Alimentum and Big Muddy.