One for Bruce, Michael Fisher

autumn-skyAutumn Sky, Romona Youngquist, 40 X 40, Oil

One for Bruce

This is my poem for Bruce
who sat behind dirty hair
during group therapy. He never spoke
except to say “pass”
He’d smoke cigarettes,
pace, let air force itself to part.
Bruce, who for two years of my coming and going
was always in the psych. ward
I’ve lied

one morning, hunched and to his knees.
Bruce said, “someone put ground glass in my tea.
“I don’t know why you are trying to kill me.
“I’m sorry. Please. I’m sorry.”
The therapist told Bruce it would be fine.
How much effort would you put into Bruce?

But Bruce got better. He left the psych. ward.
Found work as a janitor at an elementary school.
He’s well liked by the kids. Looks out for them.
Helps them cross the street.
He met a woman who asked him to quit smoking
and danced in a tux at his wedding.
If he thinks about the psych. ward
it’s like a sepia film in a foreign language.
The director got it wrong. That don’t even look like Bruce.
Remember, this is my poem for Bruce,
it ends how I want it to end.

Michael Fisher

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