Three Poems by Justin Hyde

walking around the farmer’s market with my son

in a black hat
standing on the corner
playing dylan’s
blowin’ in the wind


we forget things

like seeing dylan
in concert
fourteen years ago
at the iowa state fair

whole decades

go fallow
in our back pockets:

eighteenth birthday
alone at midnight
riding your bicycle across town
to the porn shop

carving a woman’s name
into a gazebo
in mount pleasant iowa

my own father and i
taking long walks
from the trailer park
to the a&w
across the highway

we didn’t even
talk really

i’d just hold his hand
trying to mimic
his long stride

like my son

right now.

our next door neighbor at the trailer park

had two cats
and a picture of john denver
on her
living room wall

she was
the only woman
i knew
bigger than my mother

i used to feed her cats
when she went to florida
to visit her mother

when i was older
i mowed her lawn

we moved out of the trailer park
when i was twelve

didn’t see her again
until the night of my wedding reception
at the top of 801 grand

who the fuck-
who the fuck-
is that!
my wife
seethed in my ear
as i dropped
a shot of wild turkey
with my uncle from tennessee

large old woman
straight up
purple moo-moo
and slippers
had just shuffled in
with a walker

after a few
tense interrogatories
with my mother

found out
she made copies of the wedding invitation
and passed them out
to various totems
from my past
my wife
was too gobsmacked
and speechless
to be mad

i thought it was
the greatest stroke of genius
and caprice
i’d ever seen
from my drug addled mother

the dj
only had one
john denver tune

play it twice
i told him

slowly leading debbie
out to the dance floor
by her hand.



another dead indian

was a bike mechanic
at michael’s cyclery.
my first day as an apprentice
he told me about his last job
delivering luxury cars
for john elway’s dealership in colorado.
i could tell he was trying to impress me
so i just nodded and listened.
one of the salesmen walked by:
don’t forget to tell him why you got fired,
he shot in a mocking tone.
chris didn’t tell me
just clammed up
didn’t say anything rest of the day.
found out
he was drunk on the job
drove a brand new cadillac
off the road into a culvert.
this was his song
starting with the army at seventeen.
he’d drink himself out of opportunity
then michael would let him come back and wrench
until he refilled the barometer.
couple weeks after i started
he got on as a cook
at whiskey river.
that didn’t hold.
someone set him up
at the casino on his reservation
picking up trash. a guest
found him out back
sitting against a green power box
bottle between his feet.
michael closed the shop for the day
we all rode our bicycles
fifty miles from ames
to mesquaki
for the funeral.
i didn’t have the word
in my vocabulary at the time.
elders. family. children.
none of us
seemed very sad
or surprised.

One Response to “Three Poems by Justin Hyde”

  1. Deeply powerful poetry here…

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