Sharon Watts Writes

when pictures fail me…

This End Up – a poem

You once

told me you’d

end up in

a cardboard refrigerator box under

an overpass.

“Oh Neil”

I laughed.

You loved to

make me laugh.


You tucked me in

poking the comforter snugly around

my arrow-straight body.

“Let me papoose you.”

I giggled.

I imagined you doing this with

your daughter

years ago.

Did she giggle too?


I picture you

swinging your son up

onto tall hemlock shoulders.

“You can be my scout.”

Did he whoop with glee?

A fault line split you

right down

the middle.



I insisted we rescue tadpoles from

the plastic-lined pond.


I marveled.

Catch and release, with

creaky knees, iPad camera and bucket, into

the wild just down

a country road from God’s little acre

you created.


You were caught DUI and no one

posted bail. Weeks later you showed up

at my door.

“I’m sorry.”

I let you in. We ate tuna fish sandwiches on

the patio.

In the end I had to

let you



You packed up

your life. 

Embedded like tree rings in

a trunk, stowed away memories for

the ride.

“I wish you well”

I thought.

If not, Doctor Smirnoff is always

on call.


You slump at

the wheel in a Walmart

parking lot

in Cottonwood, AZ.

Three days later a Ford Escape is

your coffin, windows rolled up.

“Oh Neil”

I don’t cry.

You deserve a more poetic ending.


In the bed of your pickup, a

strawberry moon rises

cool breeze from a shooting star

scent of desert bloom we

don’t have

back east. One last tilt

of the bottle.


that will work.


copyright sharon watts 2019

2 comments on “This End Up – a poem

  1. Anonymous
    January 29, 2020

    Is there anything you are not brilliant at?

    January 31, 2020

    Finding my way out of Ikea in Paramus? But seriously, thank you for this 🙂

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2020 by in Losing People, Memoir, Poetry.
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