Bob Hicok


Someone close to my parents
died two days ago, my mother was quiet
on the phone like her voice
had been punched in the throat,
I said sorry, she said thanks
while I wrote the word breath
on a match and put it in my wallet, went in
for a new hip and came out smaller
than anyone recalled, I wondered
if I saw my skeleton
spread out on a table
would I recognize myself, a puzzle
by then it would be fun to solve, she said things
such as "if I'm here next year," to which I
say things such as this poem
just walked a chair down to the road
to make drivers ask what else is missing
or out of place, and to keep from typing,
she probably won't be, a chair too
and a lamp if you'd like
you can sit under and read a story
to the dark as it hides
behind the frenzy of the lamp's light
in the manner of a bride
who could be anyone inside the veil