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Category: Auburn

POEM: wheat


yesterday I drove past the wheat field
where you pulled me to the ground
kissed me like our time was up
which it very nearly was

a few weeks between admission & ending
a small window through which to view
a world we couldn’t reach

you’re the last of the volumes to put away
beside childhood dreams & lost geographies
then I’ll close the door on this old library
let the wheat grow over the remains

/ / /

6 April 2021
Auburn AL
for F

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POEM: Turtles, finally

Turtles, finally

I used to write about turtles.
It was a long time ago.
Back when I thought absence
really did make the heart grow fonder.
Then I saw a dead turtle on the road in Alabama.
I’m not a believer in signs, but I got the hint.
The next time we met it was over.
When, a decade later, you asked
if I remembered your partner’s name,
I realized it had never begun.

/ / /

Jason Crane
29 January 2020
State College PA

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haiku: 1 December 2013


the streets are full of shouting
in the southern college town
where the last second counted

30 November 2013
Oak Street

[Photo: Melissa Humble, Auburn University Photo Services]

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POEM: another farewell

another farewell

after 37 moves you’d think
I’d be an expert at saying goodbye
but every farewell is bittersweet
with each handshake or hug
I leave a little piece of me
in the care of a friend
after 37 moves, I worry
there isn’t much left
but with each handshake or hug
my friends give me a piece
of themselves to take with me

30 August 2013
my last night in
Auburn, AL

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POEM: kissing Jane


kissing Jane

the entire poem
is in the title
except that he
never did it

28 August 2013
Auburn, AL

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Alabama: space is the place


Alabama: space is the place

saw a Saturn 1B rocket
towering over the trees
as I entered Alabama
not far from where
Sonny Blount was born

27 August 2013
Elkmont, AL

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POEM: after seeing The World’s End


after seeing The World’s End

everyone was replaced
by an exact replica

as we left the theater the lights
were off the halls were empty

the doors were locked the
parking lot was silent

we walked a little faster
to the car drove through

deserted streets toward our apart-
ments where nobody was home

23 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: adding to the list


adding to the list

you give away and you pack
and you pack and you give away
then after a while it’s just you
in an apartment with new echoes
wandering from room to room
opening drawers to ensure they’re empty
not long after, you turn in the keys
and that’s it, another place added to the list
of places about which you’ll say
“I lived there once a long time ago”

22 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: backpack ballad


backpack ballad
(to Gretchen)

today I retired my old backpack
a gift from my younger sister
who found her footing earlier than I did

it was one of those backpacks
with one strap, the kind that slings
heroically across the chest

I always felt, when putting it on
as if an adventure were about to start
John Williams music in the background

that backpack carried so much music
hundreds, maybe thousands of CDs
stuffed in till the zipper asked for mercy

it held notebooks full of poems, too
the green one from Kate, the black ones
I bought even when I didn’t need them

now, though, there’s a hole in the bottom
if there’s one thing a backpack can’t tolerate
it’s a hole in the most important place

so I bought a new messenger bag
just in time to go back home where
an adventure is surely about to start

21 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: tweets



descending the stairs
I look toward where
the birds used to sit
remember they’re gone
they weren’t like dogs
or cats, no cuddling
but they would perch on my hands
happy and singing
it’s important to not
be the only living thing
in the place where you live

20 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: leaving Alabama


leaving Alabama

I’m going to buy a few boxes
even though there’s so little to pack
I’m giving away nearly everything
leaving like I came, backpack stuffed
new friends in my heart
eyes searching for distant tall buildings

19 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: oops



two hundred



and then one



time to

take up


18 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: dialogue with a fortune cookie


dialogue with a fortune cookie

inside the cookie

a slip of paper

“there are big changes
ahead for you”

not sure where
the factory is

but I want to reply

“yes there are,
thanks for noticing”

16 August 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: one black family


one black family

there was one black family
in the town where I grew up
two kids, one in my grade
one a year or two older
both were smart, athletic
popular with everybody

back then I never thought
what it must be like for them
or for their parents to be
the only black family in town
about 45 minutes away was a city
where most of the people were black
although I didn’t know this at the time

for a child of my age in my town
black people were mostly on TV
I didn’t care about sports, but I grew up
watching The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son
then The Cosby Show and 227

my parents’ best friends were
a married couple; one black, one white
I’d known them since forever
and it never once occurred to me
in all those years that there was anything
strange about their being married
I still can’t decide, even now
if I was open-minded or just ignorant

and then today, out of nowhere
I exchanged a message with a star
from one of those TV shows I mentioned
she’s still out there, living life and making art
I wonder what the Jones kids thought
when they saw her on TV

16 August 2013
Auburn AL

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