Robert Joe Stout



Boggled by the way

his limbs and eyes


to the need to move

he poured water,

measured coffee,

fed the cat,

cup in hand

stretched by the open window


blinking as a view of hills

gauzed by slithering clouds

quivered into focus.

Good morning he repeated

momentarily wishing

there were someone there

to share

then glad there wasn’t:

In his lifetime

he had shared enough.


Two wives, five children,

countless dogs and cats

and birds and fish,

houses in how many cities?

Jobs and clients,

bosses, editors’ complaints


. . . now just the sunrise

twinkling color

onto church domes

glistening through recumbent pines

and coffee, dark roast,

freshly brewed,

no one to give him orders,

tell him hurry!

crowd into his space


he nodded, laughing

as the clouds, evaporating,

formed expressions

he remembered:

despondent lovers,

snarling cops,

bed-ridden mom,

and slowly rising

he looked skyward,

whispered to the morning

What a joy to be here all alone.

Robert Joe Stout is a freelance journalist and currently resides in Oaxaca, Mexico. His essays, fiction and poetry appear in a wide variety of commercial and literary magazines.



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