Bill Jones

At Gilchrist Hospice
……….(Towson, MD, 2008)

Your aura is very peaceful, the nurse says,
It’s beautiful and blue.

I’m reading beneath a lamp in the near-dark
by the bedside of my cousin Joe.

I’ve done everything I can for him,
I tell us both.

She smiles and checks on Joe
before leaving the room in silence.


Age 65, With Both Parents Gone

What once was an ocean,
its far shore only imagined,
is now a stream.

What once was a night sky
filled with distant stars
is now a door.


A Prayer of Thanks
……….Be present in all things and thankful for all things.
……………….─ Maya Angelou

For sparrows in darkness, summoning the dawn,
for the scent of rain rising from steaming summer streets,
for apricot light streaming through hemlocks,
for December snow whispering its way to the ground.


Why William Wordsworth
Never Lived in Baltimore
……….(Charles Village, Baltimore, 1973)

It was cool up there,
and I could see the stars
and nearly see the harbor
after I’d climbed out the window,
up the fire escape,
and onto the hard-baked tar.
And that October night
I might have stayed a while
if it hadn’t been for the sudden
thunder of copter blades,
the spotlight on my face,
and the cop on a bullhorn yelling,
You, on the roof, get down from there,
right now.
Yeah, I might have stayed out
for an hour or two,
maybe even written a poem.

© Bill Jones

Bill Jones lives in Baltimore and is a former winner of a Baltimore Artscape Literary Arts Award for Poetry. He has had poems appear in Borderlands: Texas Poetry ReviewCalifornia QuarterlyThe Comstock ReviewConnecticut River ReviewFree State Review, Gargoyle, and numerous other publications. His memoir in poetry, At Sunset, Facing East, was published in October 2016 by Apprentice House Press.

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