Poems by John Stupp


are strangers
bump­ing into you
a poet wrote—
I read it in Poet­ry
so it must be true
if so
the odds are good
as a city commuter
I will encounter
more frequently
than a farmer
in Nebraska
or a cowgirl
in Montana—
so there are
at least as many
barbed wire posts
and skinned wolves
on the 16A
this morning
when the sunrise
crash­es through
feet first—
while the Ohio River
is tak­ing off her
night­shirt and panties
and fold­ing them
one by one
by the trees to dry

This Morn­ing

On the way to work
a pos­sum crossed
in front of me
he was mov­ing pret­ty quick
for a possum
I almost didn’t see him
I was thinking
the win­ter before
I took one
across the river
in a trap and let him out
in a truck junkyard
on Neville Island
every­thing was included
truck cabs
old tires
all the rust
he could eat
and a riv­er view
then snow start­ed falling
white as cig­a­rette paper
in January’s ass—
when I opened
the trap he ran
into a pile of leaves
like it was a wed­ding gift from a stranger

John Stupp has lived and worked in the Pitts­burgh area for 35 years as a jazz musi­cian, wait­er and paralegal.

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