Friday, July 31, 2009


The telephone no longer rings

A quick call from Audrey, wondering

If I'd like to go with her to Nordstrums

To return a blouse

Or need a ride to book club -

Maybe this time we won't get lost.

She didn't like the book.

I don't have breakfast with Elaine

At seven in the smoking part of Denny's

Before we go to work.

(No one smokes at Denny's any more).

The King Size Kents Elaine once smoked

Destroyed her.

I see my mother in my children's kids

As they devour the latest paper back,

Or lose themselves in the delight of wondering

What an ant is thinking -

Seeing living things not quite the way

That other people do.

I don't call Mother when I'm stuck

On Sunday's crossword puzzle.

I don't write my father every Saturday

(and try to catch the mail before it comes)

I don't tell him about the kids and grandkids -

How his namesake Guy's decided that he's Buddhist

And Steffi's playing saxophone in band,

About when I'll be flying east to visit.

The last time I saw Leonard

(You know, the one who came into my office

And told me jokes he thought my father'd like)

He asked if I could sit and talk with him

Just for a moment, he had things to say -

I couldn't, though, I had someplace to go -

He died just two days after that.