Matthew Buchwald

Veteran Poet - 1,253 Points (1952 / New York City)

Oedipus Rex - Poem by Matthew Buchwald

They call me Johnny the gimp
My mother tried to kill me the day I was born
And left me a cripple for life
Locked in a permanent struggle just to survive
As a boy, I dreamed of climbing the Himalayas
Or of fording the rapids on the Columbia River
But ended on a corner in Times Square instead
I labored mightily, saved every penny
Proposed to the first girl who would let me kiss her
But who could love a cripple?
Then I found raven-haired Tess
Hovering like an angel above the gutter
With eyes so large they swallowed my heart like a tidal wave
And sugar flowed from all her pores like molasses
Whore, pusher, junky, thief
Yet to me she seemed more beautiful than life
Which I gladly would have sacrificed for love
Though all she wanted was my money
One evening, a man came to our door
Proud and arrogant as any pimp can be
And Tess, lying on the day bed, just waved him inside
So he swaggered past and took her with hardly a glance at me
When it was over, she gave him cash that I had hidden away
I ran out in the cold, slept in doorways, tried to destroy myself
But my heart was too strong and my body too used to pain
When Tess died brutally at the hands of the pimp
I went to the funeral and looked down in her coffin
And laughed till I cried because it felt so good

Topic(s) of this poem: death

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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