Poetry from Jerry Durick


Stepping out on the ledge

this many floors up

puts things into perspective.

The people become ant size

scurrying about

the rich, the poor

the happy, the sad

appear the same from up here.

Their cars and trucks become

matchbox size toys yet again

to play their parts.

From up here their stories

take place in your imagining

clashing, crashing, crushing.

The violence in you plays out.

Up here the world becomes


The wind, the slant, the sun

flashing on windows

the distant traffic sounds

the stray plane going away

are yours to use

as background for the tale

you’ll tell. Icarus unappreciated,

suddenly Superman, a minute is

passing – the man you launch into

the afternoon,

a story they will read carefully,

claiming they saw you all along.


It’s not hard to guess what’s going on

when there’s a couple of police cars,

an ambulance and a firetruck blocking

the intersection. You see people moving

about, saying things you can’t hear, but

there doesn’t seem to be any hurry in

what they are doing. Someone is lying

in the street, the center of attention, but

now there’s very little to do for him or

her. All that’s left is to clean up and move

on, some measuring and some questioning.

That’s all that’s left of whatever happened.

In the end this is just a pause in your day,

one you will mention just in passing when

you get home. It probably will not make

the evening news, but if it does, you’ll say

something about seeing all that commotion

when you were coming back from groceries.

There’s a body in the road, was a body in

the road, an interruption, a pause in your day

and it really wasn’t hard to guess what was

going on – things like this happen all the time.


When the day is finally done

we should roll the credits

for this low budget blockbuster

we are living: first the main

characters and who played

those roles, the big time players,

wives and doctors and the one

or two friends we still have left,

then the minor characters and

those background extras who

played and pushed their way

into our day. After that we need

to quickly run a complete list

of directors and producers, their

associates and assistants, whole

gangs of support folks, key grips,

make-up and costuming, the whole

list, stunts and special effects. Yes,

the list is long and perhaps boring,

but people like to be remembered

and credited with what they did. And

during all that we should play theme

music, something classical, Handel

or Beethoven, big dramatic stuff

that will stay with our audience,

something they can hum to themselves

as they walk out of the dark, empty

theater of our day.

J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Yard, Black Coffee Review, Literary Heist, Synchronized ChaosMadswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, and Highland Park Poetry.

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