Today's poem is by Cal Freeman

Epistle to the Cops on a Wintry Night

Dear historical ambling
in a souped-up Ford, dear steel
gaze hidden behind tinted glass,
keeping these hours everything
is a question of before
or after dawn. Your briefs spell out
blank descriptions of men
whose retreating shadows have been glimpsed
at the scenes of nearly-executed crimes;
not red-eyed and wandering,
bur black male on foot, possibly armed,
suspicious. Before dawn,
those hours between bar
and liquor store when the nerves pull taut
and the birds start with their racket,
hours no do-gooder is awake to bless,
when the dreams of the civic mind
grow skittish with wild imaginings.
Post-dawn but not quite day and not
fully-decomposed on the garage floor,
I find the bones of poisoned mice:
of this, I am among the guilty.
"I held a mouse skeleton to my eye
like a monocle while snow
kept blanketing the warren that slopes
toward the frozen river
in shades not exactly white
and subnivean snow fleas
and vagrants eluded your shrill light"
is a sort of alibi.
The habits of this body
are not illegal; the real thefts
were not committed in the streets.
My boot prints in the white
are not illegal. You can follow
their tracks from creek to storefront
until the next squall buries them.

Copyright © 2017 Cal Freeman All rights reserved
from Fight Songs
Eyewear Publishing
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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