[lit-ideas] Re: Wednesday Poem

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 21:44:37 -0800

Oh God,
I mean, Oh God,
why can't death be more about me?
I've done yet another eulogy,
a nice balance,
some things funny,
some to lift the spirits,
some in an appropriately minor key.
I've written and read a poem for the occasion,
taking careful cues from things I know,
or knew,
about you know who.
It's all done for love,
in the spirit of giving.

But where am I in this?

I've expressed myself badly.
You'll think either I'm wishing myself dead
or I'm an egoist or tist,
a money grubber,
a theatrical moth,
an insensitive bastard,
someone thinking absolutely the wrong thing.

But all I want is bit part in a Dickensian scene,
a small role among that clot
about the bare table,
when the quavering lawyer unscrolls the dusty will and says
I leave my...

I bet you still have me wrong.
Stuff, I've got.
I'm not after anyone's gothic pile or two seats on a maiden voyage--
even if the boat in question is said to be the fastest liner ever built.
What I want is just a sign of remembering,
a subway token slung over the turnstile
when those in a rush, pass on.
I want a brief, jotted line that says,
"And I leave my well-thumbed POGO"
"that hat we bought in a Thrift store

Apparently no one I know is old enough to write like that.
I guess I really should...

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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