"All I Had Was Gone"
Draped in Union blue
I take a 12-month chip,
a copy of The Iceman Cometh,
cultivate a salesman’s grinning grip.
Miles registered in a company car,
a Valley trip lies ahead.
Spring becoming summer,
there’s a ghost in the garden,
a feral cat sensuous in the drying grass.
I light a Tiparillo,
block walk the gentrified greenery:
open lawn, fenced lawn,
high oaks arcing the boulevard.
Black dirt dust from a truck farm town
cakes a two-toned Chrysler.
The 5-column church is silent
this Thursday afternoon.
Doors are locked. I tip my hat
to the service schedule set
and framed in quarry marble.
A Hickey-Freeman summer weight coat
is thumbed over a shoulder.
There is no place left I seem to see.
Cigar ash flurries in the wind.
Tied with a 4-hand knot,
The Countess Mara silk stays tight.
An oil derrick figure on tie clip and cufflinks
mark ten years service.
Down a distant circular drive,
a lone boy pushes a bike.
He hops the seat, gains the pedals,
wings around the median.
I’ll bring a survey team
to this memory next week.