A native of Johnstown, NY, I retired in June 2016 after 29 years of teaching writing and literature at Ripon College in Wisconsin. I've published six collections of poetry, including Stutter Monk and Second Wind; I also co-edited (with Kate Sontag) the essay anthology After Confession: Poetry as Confession. Essays, reviews, and individual poems have appeared widely, both in print and online. In recent years I've spent nearly as much time on photography as poetry. A gallery of my work is online here: http://instagram.com/doctorjazz
Song of the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway
Well, he may have lost to Harry Truman
in that most humiliating squeaker,
and had to spend the sad remainder
of his non-presidential life
with the image of that grinning monkey
of a small town pol in his head
holding up the famous wrong headline
to the thirsty cameras of time,
but for practically my whole life
he's been the road I've travelled
to get anywhere of consequence.
A legacy better than many presidencies,
I have to believe. The tolls alone!
Generations have cursed his name blue,
then forked over the cash.
Each tooth-rattling pothole
or expansion joint, each construction cone
goes by the name Thomas,
as each idling big rig stinking up
the steamy rest stop lot
shall forever be known as Dewey.
That's all you need to know of immortality
in this well paved world. I surely love
that sign I spotted near Utica
that simply read Caution Ahead:
we losers and winners accelerate past,
engines indistinguishable from the wind.
©2017 David Graham
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