Tag Archives: Ian Willey

Ian Willey

Knowing That

You stand by the river knowing that the birds
flying overhead are people you once knew,
that they will never come this way again,
that the formation holding them together is a trick
of the eye, that there’s nothing you can do about
the gunshots rising from the reeds along the bank,
about the bursts of feathers and bodies whistling
as they plummet to earth, that without the hunters
the birds would take up every square inch of sky
and you’d never be able to see the moon,
that there’s no reason for you to feel sad
or envy the ones who manage to move on.


Ian Willey is an Ohioan living in the countryside of Japan, where he teaches, writes, and helicopter-parents.


 

Ian Willey

Middle Age

When we got married
I vowed I would not become
furniture in your home

yet here I am now
sitting around
a bit threadbare
and fading.


Ian Willey, originally from Akron, Ohio, resides in the Inland Sea area of Japan where he teaches, does research, and writes.


 

Ian Willey

The Shot Clock

There he was with his ball,
the clock on its back,
glass all over the floor,
and I started to lose it,
saying how many times this
and how many times that,
while he stood looking down,
eyes bulging and wild,
until I paused for breath,
and he broke in, saying look,
Dad, the clock is not dead,
to which I had no response
because he was right:
the second hand was moving,
approaching twelve,
meaning the game
was still on,
with seconds
remaining.


Ian Willey, originally from Akron, Ohio, resides in the Inland Sea area of Japan where he teaches, does research, and writes.


 

Ian Willey

Red Bandana

If I set off on my run early enough
I sometimes see that woman with the red bandana
coming back from her walk, arms swinging, full of smiles,
her legs long and painfully thin, like the screech of a pheasant
staking out its territory, somewhere in the brush
on the edge of the woods.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Ian Willey

Replicants

I’m not sure when it happened
but someone has replaced our son with a simulacrum,
possessing the same DNA and general knowledge
but without the will to utter more than a syllable or two when pressed,
minus any interest in any of his previous obsessions
like the flight routes of major airlines (international and domestic)
or the ruling amphibians of the Devonian Period
or anything, really, apart from soccer highlights on YouTube,
who looks at the two of us as though we don’t exist
and never really did, like Santa Claus or the Loch Ness Monster,
Christopher Columbus and John Lennon,
and what disturbs me most
is that he may be right.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Ian Willey

When I Was Lost

Having missed the entrance to the turnpike I stopped at a roadside diner,
the kind that serve eggs all day and the waitresses are named Edna,

and when I asked the waitress for directions (her name was Edna, as I said)
she smiled and said honey lots of people come in asking the same thing

the sign for the turnpike gets lost in the shadows late in the day,
but don’t you worry, it’s about two miles back on the left,

and now that I told you, there’s no way you’ll miss it again,
and here, have some coffee on the house, you look like you could use it,

and what’s more, this is really the thing, as I thanked her and headed out
she said that she’d be praying for me.

Ian Willey is a teacher who spends a lot of time writing things.

Ian Willey

Rotor Bob

When I heard the park had closed down
the first thing that popped into my mind
was Rotor Bob, that big guy in a Star Wars t-shirt
who’d ride that ride all day, every day,
all summer long, spinning round and round
in that dark space with the same blank expression
even when the floor snaps down
and girls start squealing and the only thing
keeping us from tumbling into the void
is centripetal force, the same thing
that stops the moon from flying off
in a straight line and off to a galaxy
far, far away.

Ian Willey is a teacher who spends a lot of time writing things.