Rick

was
this old
friend of mine
who gave me my first
and only award for poetry.

it was
near 3 in the morning

and we
were drunk
on cheap vodka,

complaining
how we couldn’t
get published anywhere

and never
won any awards for our work

and
we were
standing on this corner

ready
to call it a night

and
he looked up
at the street sign
and saw that it was Wakefield Street

and
he handed me
the bottle and said:

i now award you
the prestigious Wakefield Prize

except
he was drunk
and couldn’t say it very clear.

but,
like they
say in the books,
it’s the thought that counts,

and that
was the first
and only award

i ever got

and Rick
went on to give up writing

and
playing the
piano and guitar.

and
he taught Econ
in a very well-known college

until
one day
he’d had enough

and
stuck his head

in
the oven,
looking, i suppose,
for whatever remained
of his music his hopes and his dreams.

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John Yamrus

In a career spanning more than 50 years as a working writer, John Yamrus has published 26 volumes of poetry, 2 novels, 3 volumes of non-fiction and a children’s book. He has also had more than 2,000 poems published in magazines and anthologies around the world. Selections of his work have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Swedish, French, Japanese, Italian, Romanian, Albanian, Estonian and Bengali. His poetry is taught in numerous colleges and universities. His website is: http://www.johnyamrus.com

John Yamrus. "Rick." Clock Radio Magazine, September 12, 2020, https://clockradiomagazine.com/john-yamrus/rick/2138/
Cover Image:Mason Hassoun