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To Tim Who Nearly Died Today

I’ve had all my life
to compose these little poems.
Sun like a vowel,
pancakes and departure,
a dawn of truth, farewell at the door,
bus after car. It goes and goes on.

Every day like coffee,
plain as black, no cream.

Each light, each blue,
every leaf I’ve seen
comes on, barely green,
to burn away its new
to its last time on the line
as fire - gold red orange -
down to nothing
but a gray plea for
anything again.

But Tim it was you,
before the fire that
never came,
gap toothed grin and
axe in hand, chopping
away the blackberries
until you dropped in
a grip of fierce heart killing pain,
carried by Billy to the doctor
and then by the ambulance
to the hospital in the rain;
it was you who
prevented me from
spoiling the paper with
any more mixed metaphor
or misplaced assonance -
this is the nature of
sudden dissonance.

The sun is unlike a vowel.
Black coffee is anything but plain.

That last breath that came again
at the restart of your heart
is the only poetry this day,
come pancakes or departure,
can rightly proclaim.

Posted 10/17/11
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