“I See Him” by Robert Cooperman

Robert Cooperman


I see him everywhere,
our friend who died at twenty-five;
as if it’s his young ghost
protesting, before
he disappears, forever.
Once, in a snowstorm,
there he was, head down,
fighting wind, tiny nails of frost,
but with such a smile,
as if he were in the middle
of a snowball fight
when school was closed
for a blizzard.
Another time,
he sat behind the wheel
of a sports car,
something sleek as a cheetah.
He had always talked of owning such a car,
so fast, nothing would catch him.
And I saw him with a woman
beautiful as biblical Ruth,
as the first petal of spring
opening wide as the arms of angels
when they praise God
and gaze down upon the world
going along, for once, splendidly.
Each time, I’m about to shout,
to open my arms and hug him.
But his ghost rushes past,
too hurried by death
for a short chat with an old friend.

from Rattle #7, Summer 1997


Born and raised on the not so mean streets of Brooklyn, New York, Robert Cooperman now calls Denver home, where he has turned his love of the Old West into a cottage industry of poetry collections about the Colorado Territory and other aspects of frontier life.

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