She wasn’t at work.
He waited for Bonnington to show,
but no. Who said he would?
Bobby went back to work
and found nothing, bone dry.
Aide Tony came by
with his usual long strides
and told Bobby stories
of his move from Madison to Chinatown.
Bobby listened closely to these tales
of a black family among the Chinese.
Listening closely; that was the craft
most crucial to telling the story yourself.
Tony mentioned Melindra was out sick.
Bobby wanted to call her,
fussed with the blank page,
and finally did call, even said
I love you–like that.
Lovely was off work the next day,
but Bonnington showed.
He said, You’re out of here
tomorrow. You’ll be an outpatient,
I’ll call you in from time to time
and we’ll talk.
Now, your friends will pick you up
That night he packed
and slept for a change.
He missed stealing kisses here,
forbidden of course,
but she had unerring courage.
That’s why he loved her,
or believed he did.
What was it to love and be loved?
Changing places would be a gamble.
He would have to start over.
But hell, that was okay with him.
What could he lose?
Well, he could be pitched into the street.
He called her early morning–
the ward mostly still asleep–
and told her when. Where was the same.
(29 February–1 March 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander