Blue – by Michael Minassian

Listening to Joni Mitchell’s
Blue this morning,
I tried to remember
where I was in 1971
when I first heard that album,
but those New Jersey
days and nights
seem buried in a fog
thicker than a soggy pizza.

She sang songs about
leaving and drinking
with mermaids and tourists
in a run-down tavern,
while I worked
a dead-end job
right out of college—
all I wanted to do
was disappear,
maybe go to California
or hitchhike up to Canada.

If I took all I didn’t know then,
it would have filled
the Hudson River end to end,
and I could skate away like Joni—

Instead, I took the subway
down to Greenwich Village,
hanging around Café Wha?
and The Bitter End,
riding back after midnight
uptown to the GWB,
crossing to Jersey,
waking up my mother
and sister who both still
wanted to know
why my father left
and why I kept coming home.

Michael MinassianMichael Minassian is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online poetry journal. His poetry collections Time Is Not a River, Morning Calm and A Matter of Timing as well as a new chapbook, Jack Pays a Visit, are all available on Amazon. For more information: