and a buzz on my phone by my side
of the bed. Sometimes I’d roll half away,
cocoon in a wrinkle of the blanket
so the screen’s light wouldn’t wake Lois
and I’d read the verse twice
before whispering, “Mornin’ Lolo, sleep okay?”
Some days, I’d read the birthdays, the history,
put my ear buds in, listen to his voice
over our doves, Lois’ quiet breathing.
There were other poems cued-up in the emails
but his were more morning gentle.
I don’t know what he did yet.
I don’t know the people who have accused him.
I thought I knew him, after so many mornings.
Now I lay here with Lois breathing calm
and I should be grateful for another day and I am,
of course, I am but I want the poems back.
I want him back – the him I thought I knew.
Like yesterday, like my father, my uncle
like a good guy you may not know but you know,
at the barber, in the park reading the paper,
and no matter what goes on in the world
you know there’s a good guy, at least we have him.
I want mornings back.
Minnesota Public Radio Drops Garrison Keillor Over Allegations of Improper Conduct [The New York Times]
Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and author of two books of stories, Toba and At the Hands of a Thief (Atheneum). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Prelude Magazine, Rattle, River Styx, Spillway, The Sun, Verse Daily. His poetry has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net.
Photo by Madi Doell.