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Friday, April 17, 2020


by Doug Bolling

North wind just off the sea
Heavy freighters out there now
Slowing toward a final turn
To harbor and rest against an
Unforgiving roil and smash of
Moon bent wave.

Rest I think rest.
What does it bring to we the
Toilers whether far out or
Crouching beside the door
Of a virus caught loved one.
No answer that holds, no
Roseate bloom out of the
Shadows of a dirt laden

We have buried two and soon
The third.
John in his artificial sleep
Barely visible through the
Frosted window, single
Portal between death
And life,
So narrow the difference.

Only a month ago I stood as
John the mariner of seas
Of thought in endless books
And beyond paused in a
New York street to embrace
A begging man in thin coat
And desperate mien.

I believe money passed
Between two sets of eyes
Locked in some version

Of eternity. I witnessed
Hugs and tears in those
Sudden moments and the
Brief silence that speaks
Of a more, more, some
Mystery perhaps outside
The rumble and screech
Of profit driven days.

Eternity or not an old man
Trapped in an unseeing
Wasteland holds his stance
Winter or spring and the best
Friend I will ever have waits
For his final breath below
Clang and clatter of a
Temporary grace.

Doug Bolling’s poems have appeared in Posit, Basalt, Blue Collar Review, Kestrel, The Missing Slate (with interview), and Writers Resist among others. He lives in the outlands of Chicago.