As a cop, I was expected to be observant, to see things that didn’t fit. I did, and I was pretty good at it. Now, I no longer think of myself as a cop. I’m a poet. Poets are expected to be observant, to see how things fit. I’m getting better at it. It’s a different way of seeing things. It’s more than seeing, it’s reading what can only be felt.
by Mike Patrick
Now that they are gone,
their lives are open . . . exposed to all.
The furniture is comfortably worn;
an end of the couch for her,
a recliner for him.
Who were they?
A stack of Laurence Welk music books
and a collection of magazines on antiques
fill in some of the holes.
All pictures have been removed from the walls,
but there were children.
A basement family room held high school trophies—
Pride shows there; pride, love and memories,
the trophies were old.
In the utility room, on rows of shelves
and across the back of a folding table,
stand more than a hundred small vases:
the kind that hold no more
than a couple long-stemmed flowers.
So many different shapes and styles
reflecting a lifetime of special days.
Each one, lovingly placed to view
every time the laundry was done.
I’m awed by a love that would place them so,
and inspired by the love that bought them.
Roses I think . . . maybe yellow roses.
I know them better now.
I can see the ghost of them.
They’re together . . . smiling.