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Poetic Hill: Washington Memoir

J.D. Smith has lived in the District since 2000 and near the Southwest Waterfront since 2005. From 1981 to 1985 he attended American University, where his poetry was much improved by studies with professors including Henry Taylor and Myra Sklarew. An editor at an international organization, he has published six poetry collections and the 2022 fiction collection Transit, and he is currently working on a novel-in-verse.

John’s poems often address the intersection of individual lives and the historical moment, particularly the contrasts between the official Washington in which he works and the unofficial, less tidy city of D.C. in all its complexity. This poem appears in The Killing Tree (Finishing Line Press, 2016).



Now the truth can be told—it’s about me.
Since my birth, all who’ve known me would tout me.

The top firms all needed to scout me.
One man put opponents to rout: me.

At Vail, who caught the most trout? Me.
(Here’s a picture at prayer of devout me.)

Wealth found—with prestige and clout—me,
Whose counsel was always sought out? Me.

Only fools, knaves and cynics would doubt me.
No wonder I can’t help but shout ME!


Sandra Beasley is the curator of “Poetic Hill,” a resident of Southwest, and the author of four poetry collections. If you live in D.C. and you’re interested in being featured, you can reach her at sandrabeasley@earthlink.net for questions and submissions (1-5 poems).

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