Address Book

It takes up valuable space on my small desk.
Flaunts its worn black cover—

Address Book for Dog People. Distracts—
every time I sit down to work

Mini looks up at me with puppy dog eyes
while inside her best friends—Ooshi, Nora,

Bongo, Bunny, Boom Boom—
stand watch over pages sloppy

with inked addresses
crossed out and updated too many times.

This address book is a relic,
but on its messy pages

reside my dead—
grandmothers, friends, brother, lover—

whose addresses I will not touch.
Let them go on living on these lined pages

with real street numbers and zip codes,
ragged, dog-eared, faithful to the end.

Cindy Veach’s poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, North American Review, Chicago Review, Prairie Schooner, The Carolina Quarterly, Sou’wester, The Midwest Quarterly, Crab Creek Review, Paterson Literary Review and others. She was a finalist for the Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, and the recipient of an honorable mention in the Ratner-Ferber-Poet Lore Prize and the Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest. She manages fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations and lives in Manchester, MA.

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