I have decided (I think)
that my mind has become a series
of walk-in closets.
You know, the kind with a full length mirror
on the inside of each door.
The door that I just opened
shuts and locks behind me. Looks like
I’m not going back into that room again
But that’s okay.
I look into the mirror and see
back over my shoulder
the future swarming into now
my grandchildren approaching, leading my children
my wife, my good friends
No, not the cat. She moves out of sight
to lick her paws and wash her face.
She joins the rest of those sentient beings
justifiably uninterested in my eclipsing self-reflections.
Rawlings is a Vietnam veteran and the author of four collections of poems: Orion Rising, A G.I. Portrait, In the Shadow of the Annamese Mountains, and A Baker’s Dozen (children’s poems). He is a founding member and former poet laureate of Veterans For Peace.