To June In Lieu of Flowers

In that little house far from the road

you made new left casserole and waited

while we marched on the induction center

and drove all night across the western slope

to Grand Junction the day

King was killed.


I still see you in your long blue denim dress,

a frontier wife of the sixties and later, after monogamy

lay smashed into the separate pieces

of our lives and you and John split,

you still smiled and the casserole was

as good as ever.


I knew you were going to die, we all did,

but we kept it  far away in a quiet distance,

because you wanted it there.


Finally, we lost touch and never found it again

except asleep in the collective fist of memory

where it remains the only touch we ever keep-

the smell of a casserole, the small house,

the blue denim of the dress,

the last smile of goodbye.






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