“Grand Avenue” By Ron Koertge

Tomorrow is the St. Louis Go! Marathon, so for National Poetry Month here’s a poem by Ron Koertge about running, death, and love.

Grand Avenue

My wife and I were jogging, like we do every morning. Down Mission, left at Trader Joe’s, then up Grand Avenue and past the stately houses we will never be able to afford. We’d just turned the corner by Senor Fish, scattering a flock of pigeons strutting their stuff. One of them took off late, veered right into the path of a silver Lexus, then lay against the curb beating his one good wing like he was trying to put out a fire. My wife asked me to, for God’s sake, do something, so I turned the delicate head clockwise until I heard a click. Then darkness poured out of the small safe of his body. That is when I realized I used to merely love my wife. Now I would kill for her.

from Sex World (Red Hen Press, 2014)

About Richard Long

I'm a Professor of English at Saint Louis Community College--Meramec, where I teach composition, creative writing, environmental literature, and poetry. I also edit 2River, home of the 2River View, the 2River Chapbook Series, and Muddy Bank. You can also follow me on my bicycle as I tour the country, self supported, at richardtreks.blogspot.com.
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