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Life After You

April 1, 2007

They say the heart heals of grief in five years or so. I haven’t found that so. It’s been five years as of January 9, since you died. You’d have particularly loved this spring, looking forward to retiring in the fall, turning 65. But life didn’t work out that way. Instead of your plans for enjoying our “golden years,” all I can offer are memories and some poems.

Ragtime

I can still hear
after all these years
you playing ragtime tunes—
ecstasy filling the living room

On comes a Scott Joplin tune
I can feel you in the room—
fingers flying, souls soaring,
hearts attuned and dancing

So much joy, so much lost—
my heart still races after a ghost
after all these years,
ecstasy and tears


Never Said Goodbye

We never said goodbye
You and I
Between the morphine
And the flaming pain,
More morphine
And your mind wandering
Amid another hit
To ease the flaring pain
For a little bit
I didn’t know what
Else to do
Did you want me
To go with you—
Or stay in the wreckage?


Can’t Say

I can’t say
Goodbye—
Don’t know why

I wasn’t prepared
For this, you know—
Life after you


After You

After you
Life is a will-o-wisp
And love a mirage
I can’t quite catch

You said I’d
Find someone new
But I’m too crazy
After you


Selected Works

Poetry
A tonic spray of poetry, verses that a Vietnam war veteran lives by.
Prose
A pragmatic, common-sense handbook for civic action at the community and international levels.