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“Are You So Tired Then, Stranger?” by Ace Boggess

—Dick Allen, “B&B”   

Wind exhausts with its icy fists.

Knives of rain wear me down, &

leaves in their helicopter swirls

like leaflets dropped from a plane.

October depletes me, & November.

They’ve too much busyness.

They send me spinning, dancing,

lonely with the rake, the broom.

I surrender, collapsing like an old barn,

debris of me piling in a chair

with clear view of the television. 

News is on. It spends me.

Talk of politics, also. I’d like 

to shut up the voices that fatigue.

They hum like a B-flat in the pipes.

They bicker & scold, condemn.

They expend me like carrying 

groceries up a flight of stairs 

until I’m too drained to care 

which side they’re on.


Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, including Escape Envy (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2021), I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So, and The Prisoners. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble.


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