for Jim Kerbaugh
We never shared more
Than a few words in passing.
Reticent in person we shared
A devotion to the written word.
Now that you’ve done your stint
In the cardiac wing
I feel the need to share
Mine with you.
These “wings” they speak of
are, I’m sure, meant to raise spirits,
Miraculously lifted you up to a god
You didn’t even believe in,
While the ones in which your faith did lie
Fixed your arms with tubes
And vigil’s wax,
Sheeting you beneath harsh light —
A myth of sun.
When Margret asked if there was anything
She could get you,
You summoned breath enough for just
one word: “Books.”
(I’d like to believe
It was your last.)