a poetic interlude though

not the one I had thought:


My old friend Stuart died yesterday

Four days after receiving a life saving

Bone marrow transplant,

For which his body had been conditioned

By 8 months of chemotherapy,

So the doctors are understandably

Mystified. Like many of our generation

He had emulated Peter Pan

By jumping off stairs and low walls

And once he felt his arc pause,

Lift even, with the promise of flight,

But then no, he fell to earth just like Icarus.

Like many of us he too had run around the neighborhood

A towel pinned to his shoulders flying behind

As he performed superior acts.

He used a large impressive bath towel

Until his mother discovered that

And made him use a dish towel,

Quite unsuitable for the flying he must do.

He would give that up soon enough anyway

For he was bright and good with numbers

And followed a dream to university.

His family sent him off with the traditional blessing,

Don’t get too big for your britches

Or forget our Christian ways, and he did not get too big

Nor forget though he did change and grow

To become an engineer of modern times,

A Daedalus of water flows for all citizens to enjoy,

a kind and good man, thorough and by the book.

I don’t know why his first marriage failed;

Probably someone came to their senses as they usually do.

I do know at last he loved Fran and worked hard,

Maybe too hard, for their life together,

And he loved music, old school like Guy Clark,

And he practiced his own guitar and worked at songwriting

With all due diligence as was his way. Last spring

He retired, breathless, mysteriously low on energy,

But with rest knowing his songs would come out.

The next week they figured out his diagnosis:

MDS developing maybe over 2-3 years

Had finally blossomed into a flower of collapse.

He died yesterday, two days before family and doctors

Had planned to pull the plug on life support

To give time for good-byes,

A line of friends coming in the room sadly

To take their leave, but with age

A mystical form evolves bone deep

And I guess he figured out that flying up and away

Was not as complicated as he once had dreamed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s