Two Poems

Joseph Grantham

aunt annie

my aunt annie is a poet and a poetry professor
she is married to my uncle ricky
i don’t know if she likes my poems
or if she thinks they are any good
i don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings
this is a poem meant to be read aloud
in a monotone voice in my apartment
on north calvert street in baltimore
i live right around the corner
but aunt annie can’t hear me
she lives far away
in reno

my wife has a friend
who thinks i’m no good at what i do
now every friend of my wife
is wondering if i might be referring to them
if you’re reading this poem
or hearing me read it
i want you to know that i know
you don’t think i’m any good at what i do
but i work hard at this
it doesn’t come easy to me
though it may seem that way
yesterday i put my shoes on at 11 p.m.
and walked up the block to the car
to grab the tension rods from the trunk
so i could hang up curtains
in the backroom
so no one could see me
when i fall asleep


how many times can i hold your hand in one night
i can hold your hand four times in one night
i think i can probably do it more times than that
i think i can put clean clothes on earlier in the day
i think i can do the dishes before they add up in the sink
my sleep mask is not good for my complexion
i don’t need to know anybody new for a while

Joseph Grantham is the author of Raking Leaves (Holler Presents, 2019) and Tom Sawyer (CCM Press, 2018). He lives in America.