Scattered At Patti's Feet
by Lisa Haynes

    I'm gathering up the bits of poetry
    scattered at Patti's feet --
    __burnt offerings, now charcoal
    __moving against white paper

    Here is the dark haired cop who sits
    facing her at every party, the one who
    gets drunk on her presence long before
    the beer provokes his eyes to blurry slits
    She is annoyed by his petulant silence
    oblivious to the poetry he writes with the hand
    he leaves on her knee

    Here is the man she meets on a trip
    to Florida, the Guardian Angel in a red beret
    who she mistakes for a motivated man
    being partially blinded by distance and her
    favorite color. She marries him. He is as
    layered as a sonnet but unable to withstand
    poetic scrutiny

    Here is the young blonde married man
    with two small children and a wife who doesn't
    understand all the things that wives don't understand
    about true love,
    or so he tells it, sitting on the couch
    suffering through sad alliteration and longing for
    Patti when she leaves

    Here, briefly, is the friend who shows up
    at her front door, naked beneath Saran Wrap

    Here is the woman of games
    who lies and cheats herself into this poem
    with her large blue eyes and seductive smile
    taking Patti on a painful trip, then leaving her
    to find her own way out

    These are the discarded poems
    that fall like so much chaff
    beneath the chronicle of Patti's one true love,
    a confident woman of few words, who carves her
    poetry in ironwood
    and sets it on the mantle.

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