Passing Words

Passing Words


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,

As if christening a ward, a wing might’ve

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.)    



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