For it was not the friend I knew, and teacher
Deprived in suffering any last relief
As death throes now come on, but any creature.
I know the rattle sound, I know the weeping:
No need for them, as you are borne away
Unto that unknown country, for safekeeping
If God in heaven holds his mighty sway.
Talk of the afterlife was not your trope;
Rather men’s foibles, in life’s crucible,
Squirmed under judgement—like a microscope
The insight keen which you wielded so well.
All came up short, yet love did not diminish;
Distance became a blessing, after all;
But as life’s story greets its fatal finish
We knew that discords all were something small.
The impress of a life—our falling out
Does not negate the careful work you did
Raising epiphanies in praise of doubt,
Condemning greed deep in the shadows hid.
Now you are gone. A puff of air, then silence,
Even as life rent from the world reveals
A momentary chasm, fraught with violence,
As, whisper-like, away your spirit steals.