William Greenway


The paki (or Sunni, or whatever he was)
ticket-taker yelled something to me
from the top step of his double-decker
red bus, maybe in some sun-dark
language, and pointed to the yellow line
at my feet.

If he had said or done
anything else, I would have stepped off
the curb into the path
of the black taxi that flew so close
to me that I still remember—my foot
in mid-air—the feel of the buffet
and ruffle of its wind that tried
to unbutton my shirt as if to blow it
all the way across Piccadilly
and leaving me another dumb
and dead tourist.

I remember him every night
before sleep, as if in prayer, wearing now
a turban, and wish I had asked his name,
that is, if an angel ever has one.

William Greenway’s most recent book is As Long As We’re Here (Future Cycle Press, 2022). His poetry appears in such journals as Southern Review, Missouri Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner.  He has won the Helen and Laura Krout Memorial Poetry Award, the Larry Levis Editors’ Prize from Missouri Review, the Open Voice Poetry Award from The Writer's Voice, the State Street Press Chapbook Competition, an Ohio Arts Council Grant, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and was Georgia Author of the Year.  He is Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Youngstown State University.

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