Tom I. Davis

Grocery Cart in Hangman Creek
For Ozzie


There must have been a whistling
of the stainless webs of steel
as it twisted through the dark
and a scraping of the cart

on the parapet as it was lifted
and cast off to drop 250 feet
from Highway 2 traffic-less
in the quiet night.

How it comes to be my joy
in seeing that cart midstream,
spinning the churning water.
I picture the lonely man

full of good humor, angry,
wheeling the wobbly cart
from where it had rested
in the gutter up the hill to haul

his rolled up bedding and his pack,
till at mid-bridge he stopped, lifted
it all over. Heard the whistling
in the dark and strolled off

toward town,
nodding, nonchalant.
Saying “hah” a couple times or so.
That’s the way it was for me.


Tom I. Davis was born in the town of Milan on the Little Spokane River in eastern Washington State, has lived in the San Juan Islands and worked in the North Cascade Mountains for the Forest Service. He has worked on fishing boats in Alaska and has taught writing at the college level and aboard Navy vessels in the Western Pacific. Author of 4 books of poetry, Davis’s most recent collection, Soldier of the Afterlife, was published by Gribble Press in October 2012. He lives in Seattle.


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