Poem of the Week: ‘Urban Fox’ by Christie-Luke Jones

Looking through the nominees for Poem of the Week is fast becoming one of our favourite weekly tasks. The quality of the output seems to increase with every crop of new entries and as difficult as it often is deciding which ones stand out the most, it’s hard not to come away from the experience feeling freshly proud and inspired. Anyway, that’s enough preamble from me for one day, let’s get this show on the road.

3rd Place
‘Radiation Day 22’ by Ally Malinenko


Greenpoint is a mess too, she says,
flexing her knee
after telling us how she had both
knees done
totally replaced, she said
but not at this hospital,
the one in Queens
but still, she says
Greenpoint is a mess.
So is Williamsburg
all these young people.

Yippies, her husband
chimes in pulling his gown
down over his thin knobby knees

Hippies, she says, correcting him
then, no wait, hipsters
she says. My daughter told me
they’re call hipsters.

They’re called idiots, the old man says
and I start to laugh
and she catches me
because I never say anything in here

and she says
I’m right aren’t I?
My daughter told me they’re called hipsters.

Yippies, the old man offers again.
No, she says, you never get anything right.

Yes, I tell her. You’re right.

And she says sitting up proud
like a rooster whose gotten
some attention, my daughter
also said that the Orientals
aren’t Orientals anymore.
We call them Asian now.
See? She says, I’m learning.

Orientals? Anna the old Italian says
They are everywhere.
Every-a neighborhood.
I can’t get away from them.

Yes, the old lady says
but now they’re called Asians.

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