Poetry / Poets

3 Poems by Jean Byrne


Please don’t come to haunt us, Past
For we can’t look in your mirror
Neither alone nor together
Without losing our minds
Please don’t taunt us with your evidence
Or we’ll fall into your sad arms
And lie with you forever
Let us have our hope
Let us have aspirations for the future
Even though it too will become the past
And we will fear it as we fear you now
Or we will long bitterly for your better times
Do not try to be so tangible
You fuse with present and future
In the end you are no more solid
Than what is yet to come


Known to many as flying rats
But they’re wrong
The working class
Of the bird world
The ones that stayed on
As brick placed on brick

Not pure and flitting in meadows
But surviving amidst the man-made
Not what birds should be, eh?
Dirty and deformed
The markers of staying on with us
Of sticking it out with progress
And we punish them for that

Hope it doesn’t worsen
If they gobble our smoke butts
Drinking from puddles
Of vomit and beer
Perhaps they, too, will lose their wings
Like us


She dragged herself along the street
Half-empty wine bottle in her hand
She flopped onto a doorstep
Grim noises and spit gurgled up from her insides
She embodied life’s fuckedupness
Some kindly citizens made a call
But not without judgment
A siren came closer and closer
My heart sank a little more
They took her away in their medical van
It was sad
Not because she was going to die,
Because she wasn’t going to live either


9 thoughts on “3 Poems by Jean Byrne

  1. Pingback: Past | Jean Byrne

  2. Pingback: Pigeons | Jean Byrne

  3. Pingback: Fuckedupness | Jean Byrne

  4. Pingback: Fuckedupness | Jean Duggan

  5. Pingback: Pigeons | Jean Duggan

  6. Pingback: Past | Jean Duggan

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