Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Poems by D. E. Oprava


Tomorrow he’ll be back at work cleaning rigs
on a truck-stop tarmac off highway forty-one, sucking
up diesel and putting more sweat, less love
in the hub caps that need to gleam brighter
than a southern sun. He’s had his eye on a girl
working in the diner, Melissa smiles out through
the plate-glass window as he hums a tune every
man here seems to know and at night
he’ll be on the porch playing guitar listening
to cicadas ring as others inside sing, music
seems to come from the very air in this place,
and he grins.

Getting off the blacktop for a break she winks
at him, her smile sweet as a Vidalia you can
eat raw like an apple, he grabs the nearest table
and ponders the peach or pecan pie with a glass
of orange coke to wash the choke of dust and exhaust
from his mind sometimes lost to the heat and the fierce
reverie he feels for home.


Leaving a home
where she knows everyone
and they know her, it's the last
day the daughter
of the restaurant owner
has to mop the floor,
the place downtown,
service with a smile is always required
over ice cream sundaes
or thick cheeseburgers,
he’s a slick man
who built his business round
the Sunday morning church-going
crowd, come eleven o’clock every-
thing’s clean and right for the biblical
flood of hungry and pious ready
with conscience-clean-slates
to dig in to sin all over again,
a couple in the corner eye food
just landed on their tabletop,
they stop, clasp hands close over
the chili-cheese dogs, and pray.

D.E. Oprava writes, because he has to. He is terrified of what will happen otherwise. It makes him prolific. He has been in over eighty journals online and in print and his first full-length book of poems VS. was released in October 2008 by Erbacce Press. He is also the founding editor of the small poetry and prose press, Grievous Jones. When he isn’t writing he is battling against his raging sobriety and trying to live up to the high moral expectations of husbandhood, fatherhood, and humanhood. Not necessarily in that order and not necessarily succeeding.

You can find him at

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