Ken Across the Street


Ken lives across the street

old style pre hip hop

you’re in the navy now tattoo

chain smoker one cigarette

behind his right ear

at all times Ken


I never liked him much

until this summer. Hilda,

gentle gardening wife

Ken drove a truck for 41 years

a very big truck

he didn’t like it when people

asked if he was a trucker

he couldn’t say why not


Hilda died in May. He held her hand

and said goodbye.


Now something of Hilda

lives inside Ken and when he

comes over every single afternoon

around four he says he’s coming

for free coffee and cookies

even though he didn’t come

across the road for 14 years,

he walks over as though

he always has and it’s ok with me

because I see Hilda inside Ken

and when he tells over and over

again his one long

story about his baking truck

and Brooklyn I can see Hilda

and she’s smiling.


Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. this piece makes me tearful — makes me think you agree that ancestor worship gets easier when you keep seeing the bits of beloved in people coming up newly. But also – simply a beautiful arrangement of simple words and I am feeling very moved.

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