Poets Read: David Mihalyov

We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series in honor of National Poetry Month 2019 and will run it throughout the month of April. 

Every day in April, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment. 

Today’s poem is Driving Home on the Keeler Street Expressway by David Mihalyov and it appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Gyroscope Review.

Driving Home on the Keeler Street Expressway
by David Mihalyov

He rose like a cut-rate Jesus
asking for forgiveness, holding 
a cardboard sign telling us he was
a vet, homeless and hungry.

After the rush hour cars moved past
he sat on an upturned bucket
head down, looking disappointed 
in the offerings of the day.

It would be easy to pull over
and talk for a few minutes.
Sometimes you just have to talk.
Ask where he served, if he has any kids,

understand that everyone has a story, 
a rationale for how they find themselves
standing at an intersection, holding a sign.
I could spare a twenty,

even if he spends it on booze or pills.
I’d like to think one day, maybe today,
I will pull over instead 
of pretending he’s not there,

some body who doesn’t exist 
when another car blocks
my line of sight. It would be simple 
to give him his humanity,

but that would make both of us sound noble – 
for all I know he could be a fucker.
Instead I drive on, leaving it for another day,
or another person, to build that bridge.

About the Poet: David Mihalyov lives outside of Rochester, New York, with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. His writing has appeared in several journals, including in Concho River Review, Gravel, New Plains Review, San Pedro River Review, and Timberline Review