The book is divided into three sections of poems: White Panties, The Hospice Poems: In Memory of Steve Sprague, and Other Bits & Pieces of Love.White Panties This afternoon while the hot sun
clattered through the summer sky
like a nail in search of a coffin,
I found a pair of your white panties
you had misplaced in my underwear drawer,
so simply surprising … oh, I couldn’t help myself.
I sniffed at the panties.
The panties were so clean and fresh with soap and Clorox.We are getting old, huh?
Me and you
almost 40 years we've slept in the same bed.
And yet there I was like a dog
sniffing at your clean white panties
You are in Tulsa
visiting with your friends, the ones
I argue with in my head, the ones
who believe that a kingly god governs the world
and so in my lonely summery daydream
they question my devotion to your white panties.
They would tell me, I believe, to put
the white panties in your underwear drawer
where they belong.
They must have their reasons.
I have mine.
our cat and a mockingbird were playing their game
to decide who will live the longest.
The cat was lying serenely in the thick green grass.
He waved his white-tipped tail as a flag
to entice the mockingbird to dive closer and closer.
The bird pretended she didn’t understand.
She squawked in defiance at the cat’s claws.
You and I know that the mockingbird will lose the game.
Already this summer we’ve found the feathers
of three mockingbirds scattered in the green lawn.
But I want to write a love poem for you.
Poem from the book White Panties, Dead Friends & Other Bits & Pieces of Love. Copyright © 2006 by Bobby Byrd. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in case of brief quotations for reviews.