the trenchcoat is old now too long that my spine fuses slowly but inexorably roomy enough to cover my bullet-proof vest, it has made why I am here a delusion it never discerned what should have entered, as well as what it has warded off large lapels and dark tough gabardine enabled me to fade into crowds, nights even dawn but there have been times when I couldn't see for looking my thick gumshoes still stick in blind alleys slip on other's slime I've learned too late I've chosen on what I tread like reheated tea nothing in the taste is lost but tannins acquire a bitterness which lingers on the tongue and cold cases solved have elements which bare me back lanes become nightmares Erma Bombeck and the Beatles notwithstanding I might in a while give the trench to one of the homeless buy one of the regulation lightweight jackets now that I've been awarded cold case files work much more through the NET who knows? will the force still need me when I'm on the floor?

Diane Stevenson Schmolka .

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