He called from the yard
next to the parking lot
asking bus fare to Mountain Home
Veterans Administration Hospital
to get his medication.
That wasn’t what was on his mind.
Gesturing with his cane
at the sofa between us,
innocent as a mine field,
he said his neighbor died there
and they would not haul it away.
His friend was a veteran too
and he lay dead on that sofa
for three days before they came
with a black plastic bag and
stuffed the cushions in the Dumpster.
They won’t come and get the sofa
or empty the Dumpster. He knows
the smell of death too well.