The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


William Greenway

How It All Went South


They were already packing their bags while I was asleep

or drunk, or walking around awake but unconscious

as usual, or all of the above.

Looks like the job, the aspirations

to be good husband, good father,

signed on too, a group tour.

Maybe they got a special rate.


When I woke up, sat up, sobered up,

the house was empty, and, as they say

in the banking biz, “underwater,”

which it must be since I’m having

so much trouble breathing.

The TV’s gone black and white,

the broadcasts just burbling.


Now they’re down there somewhere

eating gumbo, biscuits with sausage gravy,

fried green tomatoes.

The fridge here is full of food

but gray-furred, like the wolf

who’s no longer at the door,

but, knowing better,

without even wasting a huff

or a puff,

has moved on too.




WILLIAM GREENWAY's newest books are Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press) and The Accidental Garden (Word Press). His tenth collection, Everywhere at Once, won the Poetry Book of the Year Award from the Ohio Library Association, as did his eighth collection Ascending Order. Both are from the University of Akron Press Poetry Series. 
His critical work, The Poetry of Personality: The Poetic Diction of Dylan Thomas, is from Lexington Press. His poetry publications include Poetry, American Poetry Review, Southern Review, Georgia Review, Missouri Review, Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, and Shenandoah. He won the Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Poetry Award, the Larry Levis Editors’ Prize from Missouri Review, the Open Voice Poetry Award from The Writer's Voice, the State Street Press Chapbook Competition, an Ohio Arts Council Grant, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and been named Georgia Author of the Year. He is Distinguished Professor of English at Youngstown State University. 



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