Iris G. Press

JEFF RATH

Jeff Rath is the author of four collections of poetry: The Waiting Room at the End of the World (2007), In the Shooting Gallery of the Heart (2009), Film Noir (2011), and his latest, The Old Utopia Hotel (2016), all published by Iris G. Press. His work has been published in a number of journals including Bards Against Hunger, Everyday Genius, The The Poetry, the Delmarva Review, One Art, and Fledgling Rag. He is the 2007 R.E. Foundation Award winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee.

The Waiting Room at the End of the World

In the Shooting Gallery of the Heart

Film Noir

The Old Utopia Hotel

Arlington, 10-28-10

Here beneath the October sky,
surrounded
by vigilant rows of stone,
I struggle to focus
on the ceremony:
the ritual precision
of six men folding a flag,
the final volley of farewell.

Mournful notes
float disembodied on the breeze,
that lullaby
for all these forever boys
gathered on this field
of unfulfilled dreams.

And me, as your only pallbearer,
holding this marble urn
containing your final incarnation,
appreciating the graceful circumference of it all:
how, long ago,
you carried me into this world,
and now I am here
to carry you out of it.

 

 

                                                 Jeff Rath

                                                    from Film Noir