Will Greenway


We had to share a table

in the packed pub on Simmer Dim,

the longest day of the year.

They were German,

but not fat and pushy like we thought,

but slim, young, attractive.

The locals said we must drink

till dark, listening to the band

play Scottish songs.

We parted as the sun, which never set

but stayed a gash of red

above the hills all night,

began to rise again,

said, see you soon,

and laughed at the unlikeliness.


On Loch Ness I wondered

at the windsurfer skimming

out on the black water,

if he worried something might rise

to suck him down, thup,

like a trout taking a mayfly on "the hatch"

when they only live a day.

We drank the real Budweiser

and fifty-year-old Glenlivet

from a row of bottles on a shelf,

a pound for every decade since

it bubbled from the ground at Josie's Well.


I forget what "accident" brought us

together again on the Firth of Forth,

but remember running into them

the final time

outside a show in London.

We stood on the sidewalk and swore

to write, to visit,

that fate intended us

to be friends forevermore.


We've lost touch, of course,

these thirty years,

which seems like an eternity

of disease, deaths, divorces,

and yet no time at all,

all of us still skimming along

on the only day we'll ever have.

Will Greenway's tenth collection of poems, Everywhere at Once, won the Poetry Book of the Year Award from the Ohio Library Association, as did his eighth collection, Ascending Order. Both are from the University of Akron Press Poetry Series.  His work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Southern Review, Georgia Review, Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, and Shenandoah.  His awards include the Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Poetry Award, the Larry Levis Editors' Prize from Missouri Review, the Open Voice Poetry Award from The Writer's Voice, the State Street Press Chapbook Competition, an Ohio Arts Council Grant, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and he has been named Georgia Author of the Year. He is Distinguished Professor of English at Youngstown State University.



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