Sad Stories Told in Bars: The Reader’s Digest Version
by William Matthews
First I was born and it was tough on Mom.
Dad felt left out. There’s much I can’t recall.
I seethed my way to speech and said a lot
of things: some were deemed cute. I was so small
my likely chance was growth, and so I grew.
Long days in school I filled, like a spring creek,
with boredom. Sex I discovered soon
enough, I now think. Sweet misery!
There’s not enough room in a poem so curt
to get me out of adolescence, yet
I’m nearing fifty with a limp, and dread
the way the dead get stacked up like a cord
of wood. Not much of a story, it is?
The life that matters not the one I’ve led.