imagine being dead, void of hope, though, Lord
from the railroad tracks where that afternoon
he’d curled up for a nap behind the News-Tribune.
Peaceful as a child’s lost ball, the bloodless thing lay.
guessed how, but why was hard to say, the way
knees drawn, left hand tucked, right relaxed on a hip, gripping
unlit pipe. Any chance, I asked, that a crime’s
the cop said, “mystery is, why’s his head not flat
Told my wife about John Doe. She said, “Many’s the time
I’ve seen you napping, flopped dead. Face twitching with dreams.”
I knew. It’s not the dying but the being
Love Field, 1961
how safe that world was:
as the plane
to see it sucked by the propellers’ down-wash
by the witness of fifty years imagining
Dallas Lee is a writer with a career in journalism (primarily The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and in speech and scriptwriting. His poems have appeared in ConnotationPress, and upcoming this fall), in The Cortland Review and Mia Magazine. He is the author of The Cotton Patch Evidence, the Story of Clarence Jordan and the Koinonia Farm Experiment (Harper & Row). He is a native of Graham, Texas, a graduate of Baylor University, and lives in Atlanta with his wife, Mary Carol.