The Cop's Wife
Poems by Janet Buck
A victim of raw witnessing,
she saw too much. Heard too much.
Living like a waiting log
so near the quick serrated edge.
Always on the lip of lightening
waiting for the strike of death.
Tender jingles of the phone
were buttons on electric chairs,
rivers rising all around.
She'd iron navy uniforms.
Steam would hiss like cornered cats.
A poster child of urban sewers
rumbling through the fetid mud.
An agonizing ritual of
shut the drapes. Chain the door.
Check the locks and check again,
as tongues return to rotted teeth.
Erase a mind of high-speed chase
where trees have turned to tumbleweeds.
At 2 a.m., his shift was done.
A key would turn and she would
melt in gratitude,
slip her thigh between
sharp scissors of his grief.
Rise another wending day,
crack an egg in skillets of her torrid fear.
The chance to love, a prisoner
of chancre and their impotence.
She owned that brand
of pounding heart that
pumped like riggers drill for oil,
hoping wet will meet their hands.
Hers a coy and secret strength
too frail to be spoken of.