Peter Johnson

A Nun to be Named
June 25, 2019 Johnson Peter

A Nun to Be Named Later

I’ve been thinking about the nun who wouldn’t let me pee in fifth grade.
There is no need to know her name.
She is dead and most of her clumsy cruelties have died with her.
But tell me: Who can you trust?
I trust the geese who are too stupid to migrate this winter.
I double-park to say hello.
I want to explain that I’m on a quest for authenticity.
They’re stumbling about, cold but apparently very happy.
They are like the lilies of the field, and so on and so forth.
I go back to the car and listen to a Miles Davis CD.
Supposedly, Miles stopped playing when he could no longer hear the music.
Was he telling the truth?
The truth is her name was Sister Josepha.
It makes no sense to hold a grudge.

Peter Johnson’s prose poetry has been awarded an NEA and two Rhode Island Council on the Arts fellowships. His second book received the James Laughlin Award from The Academy of American Poets. New books are: Old Man Howling at the Moon (Madhat Press, 2018), A Cast-iron Aeroplane That Can Actually Fly: Commentaries from 80 Contemporary American Poets on Their Prose Poetry, editor (MadHat Press, 2019), and Truths, Falsehoods, and a Wee Bit of Honesty: A Short Primer on the Prose Poem, With Selected Letters from Russell Edson (MadHat Press, 2020). A book of short stories, Shot, was just published in January of 2021 (Madhat Press).