General Poetry posted September 21, 2020

This work has reached the exceptional level
Displaced children


by Sergeant Floyd

There they were again!
My son's messy fingerprints.
Hadn't I just wiped them
off the refrigerator?
I could tell
from the precarious balance of the pitcher
he was after the oj and succeeded.
His backyard mission?
Watching the chipmunk
below the bird feeder?
Or the caterpillar nest
still spinning with the fall leaves in the wind
in the highest reaches
of the bark shedding birch?

I know I shouldn't be
in such a hurry to clean them up.
Someday I know the glass will be squeaky clean
as a chemist's beaker.
Free of contamination.
Revealing only a cold and sterile reflection of me
and outside winter!
His fingerprints erased.
No trace of the smudges
a life leaves behind.
Messy but irrevocable to the soul.
The crystal soul of mind.
The radio soul of memory.
The soupy soul of heart.

Smudges trying to get on mirror surfaces!
Smudges like gnats tossed like bricks
against a window screen.

the pile of dirty clothes
is picked up off the floor and washed.
Dishes dried and put away.
A plastic dome covers the fruit on the counter.
The cookie jar holds only crumbs.
Sticky fly strips dangle from the ceiling.

There's a smudge for his name
on his old catcher's mitt glove.
A smudge on the map of the street where he lived.
The block, the house, the number.
Photographs are just a glossy smudge.
It takes a person!

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by cleo85 at

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