The Trophy Shop: Spring 1985

There are places where past and future meet:
Hospital waiting rooms
Where the half-smoked cigarettes
Of expectant fathers and grieving sons
Commingle nervously in rattling ashstands.

I was in the trophy shop today
And had not thought Ďtil now
How lives touch that way here:
New nameplates await new jobs:
Capt. Whitehead, M/Sgt. Giorlando:
Welcome aboard, Sir: Letís get this place shipped up...
Ms. Bloomquist, Office Manager:
She has come here from Kansas perhaps:
We do not know how it was for her there.

Honors Graduate, 1985
Engraved in blue aluminum.
A young manís crest, his shield,
To protect what he has been told up to now
Against what he will learn later.

And here are the desk sets, the plaques,
The silverplate gallery trays
Which express in gothic characters
Appreciation for so-many years of loyal service.
In the trophy shop, the sentiments
Of folk kind enough, sincere enough,
Captured in synthetic marble or walnut-like wood,
Ready to go into the closets
Of the goings and comings of our lives.

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