Monuments of Absence | Richard King Perkins II

Four bees just attacked me in my car.
I couldn’t figure out where they came from at first,
but then I remembered the flower arrangement
I’d taken from the roadside memorial earlier this morning.
I’d intended on sorting them into a vase
before my wife got home and giving her a thoughtful present.
That’s just the kind of guy I am,
in case you were wondering.

Now I’m going to have to dump these white and red roses
on a backroad somewhere and for good measure
I’m going to get rid of the garage sale signs
uprooted from at least a dozen different street corners
and the stack of flyers I took from the house for sale
a few blocks over.

No one is going to name a street or a park after me
when I’m dead,
so I’m creating monuments of absence instead,
placing little memories of things gone missing
into the minds of people I’ll never know or meet.
It’s not much of a legacy,
but I’m quite certain no one’s naming a bridge or a school
in your honor either.


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