You were a melancholic just like me,
And though they’ve found no gene for it, it’s true—
I gained a sober levity from you,
Sage Witness to life’s tragicomedy.
You didn’t, though, rule out hope easily,
Or seek pathos in nature as your due:
You simply traded pain for poems in view
Of dreary choices from necessity.
Your spirit in a dusty cache of dreams
Lives through the candid charm of those few lines,
And though the sallowness of forty years
Has turned the pages as my own age nears
The limit of your too brief passage, it seems
Love and wit remain—though your son declines.

(2005)

mothers, memorials, poetry

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