George Ryan


Something tasteful and thoughtful and not too
unusual might be what she would have
requested but when she opened his card
in which amorphous forms banged into things
of random color she was delighted

When the taxi stopped at a light on York
my driver lowered a window and spoke
to the driver of a taxi that had
moved alongside.  I could not put a name
to what their language was, but they seemed to
know and like one another, prolonging
their talk even after the light turned green.  
On the move once more, I told my driver
that I often met Irish people here
but rarely anyone I knew before.  
He said that he and the other driver
both grew up in the same small town, but their
families did not speak.  It was only
over here they got to know each other

She told visiting friends at the breakfast table
that while her husband had always snored
he had recently stopped breathing as well.  
When she poked him he snorted, breathing again.  
Things had worsened that very morning.
He lay unbreathing beside her on the sheet
with his blue eyes open and unseeing.  
A dead man lay next to her in bed!  
She poked him and he snorted, breathing
and closed his eyes.  She hit him on the forehead
and kicked him until he fell out of bed.  
All the visiting friends at the breakfast table
turned to look at her husband, eating scrambled egg.  
It was a dream, he said, maybe something she ate.


George Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin.  He is a ghostwriter in New York City.  Elkhound published his Finding Americas in October 2019. His poems are nearly all about incidents that involve real people in real places and use little heightened language.