Poetry from Jerry Durick

               Who I Am

I’ve been wearing this person

All these years, have become

Used to him, his shape and his

Size, learned to put up with his

Manners and voice. I’ve watched

Him age, watched him lose a step,

Fall back a bit, begin to lose his

Place, sometimes forgetting even

Simple things, his wallet, his keys.

I’ve listened to him try to explain

Himself to others, himself to what’s

Left of himself. I’ve learned to be

Him, fell into the role, assumed his

Identity, even answer to his name

If I hear it in the midst of the day

He builds around us.


Each I.D. we carry says something else

About us. This one says I can be here

And this one says I can drive if I want

To, though right now I don’t have any-

Thing to drive, just me walking through

A line, a line called security check as if

This group were a threat. It’s hard to

Imagine their jobs, asking people in line

To establish their right to be here. How

Often do they catch someone, someone

Dangerous, dangerous like we have learned

To expect from watching the news. Imagine

The headlines: senior citizen with no i.d.

Tried to breach security but failed was then

Jailed. What we carry tells them who we

Are and what we might do, do if we don’t

Have the proper identification to show them.

                In The End

Our obits will have us going peacefully

Surrounded by family, after a brief, or

Was it a lengthy illness, an illness they

Rarely name, and there we go off into

Whatever comes next. But what about

Those of us who will die violently, along

A highway, decapitated, disemboweled

Or in an emergency room, surrounded

By personnel who don’t know us from

Adam or Eve. But obits tend to miss

Those details. Like undertakers they’ll

Dress us up and put us in ideal situations –  

With immediate or extended family, our

Loving folks gathered to watch us on our

Way to a next life that we all hope will be

There, waiting for us.

One thought on “Poetry from Jerry Durick

  1. These precisely etched poems offer the reader a chance to think about things we usually ignore in the middle of our quotidian day — death, growing old, the individual’s tenuous place in society, and our internalized sense of self. The poems are spare and lean, almost essay-like, right to the point of the poet’s pre-occupation. Loved this line: “and there we go off into Whatever comes next.” Thanks Jerry for your insights.

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