Margins–John Grey

So I went to school,

and, once I’d learned to read and write,

waved goodbye to my classmates,

as I began scribbling in the margins

and then on blank white paper proper,

reading unassigned books,

buying magazines for everything but the pictures,

even scanning the morning newspaper.


I kept in touch, observed closely even

as they found jobs, got married, had kids,

dipping in and out of words just enough

to respond to the struggle, the joy,

the comfort of eventual predictability.

I was presumptuous enough

to plot the meaning on their behalf.

I changed the names, the circumstances.

I kept silent on the connection

though poems, for all their good intentions,

can never quite keep a secret.


We have lived in parallel.

They seem happy enough

even when my lines

would lead you to believe they’re not.

And I am content enough,

if you discount moments

of unrequired envy.


They live within the margins.

I take up where they leave off.

It’s all the same page.

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