Jack and Coffee and the Rain Coming Down

not a good day today with
the rain coming down and
driving over a hundred miles
before making it back home
sitting at the kitchen table
looking out the window and
the rain falling down
the coffee in front of me
bottle of jack daniels and
I keep pouring it in the coffee
tasting it to make sure
it's enough and
the rain against the window
changes the appearance of things
it's only the middle of the week
but I feel like I'm trapped
inside the darkness of a tunnel
one light shining near the end
too far for me to reach


I always enjoyed going to
his house in the evenings
when he'd sit in the kitchen
beneath the glow from
the light above the sink
he never used the ceiling light
always complained it was too bright and
he'd offer me some instant coffee
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
I always took the coffee
told him he could keep the sandwich
then asked him how he was doing
getting old was always his reply
he claimed he'd outlived his entire family
and now was awaiting his turn
he was just an old guy
who lived in my town
we never really talked about anything
but I always sat there and drank
two or three cups of coffee
always made sure I stayed long enough to
give him the chance to tell me
it was way past his bedtime and
I really needed to leave so
he could get some sleep

James Babb's recent poems have appeared in
Abbey, Barbaric Yawp, Fight These Bastards,
Main Street Rag, Zen Baby and ZYX.

2007 Underground Voices