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Poem for Jeff Rudy, a poem by John Dorsey

Poem for Jeff Rudy

i don’t know where you are now

maybe your ponytail has gone gray 

maybe your thick glasses 

are smudged with the dust from old books

& you can no longer see your way 

out of the worry that comes with age

maybe you no longer swim 

in rivers

flooded with thoughtfulness

as far away as pittsburgh 

or johnstown 

where you once sang 

about the mythology of weathered hands

where i once dreamt of you painting your nails

in a torn t-shirt reading while jim daniels

it must have been a dream

your shirts were always freshly pressed

& you only read larry levis & ed ochester

like it was a religion

& when you extended your hand

i took it 

& it’s been over 30 years

with you now somewhere lost in time

& i’m still waiting for you 

to let go.

John Dorsey is the former poet laureate of Belle, Missouri and the author of Pocatello Wildflower. He may be reached at