The Poetic Hill

Tom Hamilton is a Chicago native who has lived on Capitol Hill since 1985. Originally an artist whose paintings have been featured on the cover of the Hill Rag, he has also written novels, short stories, plays, book reviews, and human interest pieces. He turned to poetry when his wife, Nadine, “began her heroic bout with cancer.” He calls himself “a freelancer in anything and everything,” and says he’s “devoted to the Hill,” where he plans to die in the house that he and Nadine bought together. “Just,” he adds, “not right away.”


Too Late
In a couple years,
Not many now,
I’m going to die.
Who’s going to notice?
Who will call?
Not the gentle folk
Who bring the mail,
Who say hello when I’m at home,
Then go about their business.
Not my neighbors,
Who really are good neighbors,
Kind and thoughtful,
Raised a family here.
They had their floors refinished
And sent their mice next door
To us
To die.
Not them.
But someone,
Will sense the smell of me
And call too late.
Too late for what?
Life Is a Comedy
Twenty Years are lost
With one audition
Of stutters and stumbles
“The Glass Menagerie” is shattered
The unicorn unhorned
“The Winter’s Tale” is cold or colder
Than the hapless queen
Well there are other things to do
That I have never dreamed of
Because I dreamed of this
And set my sights
And then I blew it
Watched my dreams
Come all apart in all the scenes
At all the seams
But now the funny part –
Although the parts I played weren’t played for laughs
Intentionally –
I stood buck naked on that stage
For I had quite forgot
Along with all my lines
My motley clothes
My pantaloons and sagging hose
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