The Gray Man
He’s in the woods
somewhere down a path off a main trial,
down in the stickers and the ferns
in a cedar grove where he can see out
but no one can see in.
These fallen trees, the hollow rotting ones,
if you touch them you can feel
vibrations of hikers in the distance.
I feel him listening with his hands,
picking up the tremble in his web.
times back then I could drink
and pass out drunk wake up at six
work out smoke a pack of cigarettes
without the kids I’d destroy myself
dying and I didn’t know how to live
in this house relationship swept overboard
helpless in a current taking me along
Douglas Cole has published six collections of poetry and a novella. His work has appeared in several anthologies as well as The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Galway Review, Bitter Oleander, Louisiana Literature and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net and received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry. He lives and teaches in Seattle. His website is douglastcole.com.