Mar/Apr 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 2 PoetryMarch 1, 2016 |

Dress Blues

Bad luck, he believed, to throw away a Bible. So a small stack moldered on a table in the basement— a pocket New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, a gilded King James in a red leather jacket, an Oxford Revised Standard, a Tyndale's New Testament. (Where did he get that?) I walked down one morning to find his leather-bound Masonic at the bottom of the stack, which brought back those evenings he'd come home late, his jacket smelling of stale tobacco, and on his breath a sweetness it took me years to recognize. What mysteries were revealed those late nights in the windowless lodge he never revealed to me. At his funeral the Grand Master stood at the grave and challenged us to change our lives. (Some day wed be lying in his place.) Two sailors in dress blues folded the flag that had covered the casket while a third stood off and bugled taps—solemn, mournful, lovely. Weeks later I learned it was a recording but still recalled that glint of su

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