Scott Odom is a detective with a Sheriff’s Department on the central coast of California. He lives with his wife and daughter in Cambria. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Perihelion, In Posse Review, Yalobusha Review, Poet Lore, Phantasmagoria, and in the anthology Off the Cuffs.
Resting Simply Without Altering It
Today arrived and the bird-swarmed garden announced it.
We live near the river so there was also the soft knock
of rocks against each other along the sandy bottom
although we did not hear it.
You left early for the city. You love the marketplace
and its din. I imagine you holding mushrooms or a duck or
one of those dried, unknowable things you crave.
I went to work where the tide of case files floods my desk.
Sunlight came through the window and the fish
gulped their food when I fed them.
Today there was another suicide,
someone’s father lost money to a thief who stabbed him,
a girl was raped. The voices and the faces of the victims
shone with a beautiful pain, individual and complete.
At lunch I ran with Jay. We jumped the fence
to the army post, ran through the eucalyptus
to the cattle guard. Jay is intelligent and dangerous.
He’s done me damage in the past, is likely doing more now.
It was a good run and we pushed each other
all the way out and back, four miles.
After work I picked up Emily, got pizza and Spaghetti-O’s
at the Cookie Crock.
Now she’s watching a horror movie and eating candy
as I write this poem. Tonight I will listen to your voice on the phone,
hear about your day in the city you love,
until the moon comes up
and sleep undoes this,
our only day.