You said that you would never want to be
remembered as anything but lucky.
But now, a year after your death, and here,
in this stark, symmetrical place more
rigid than the most restrictive poem,
I wonder whom to blame your luck on—God?

You said that you could always turn to God,
that given any situation He would be
more solace than the most respected poem.
And did I think that I was merely lucky
in my talent and accomplishment? More
likely God had put me, for some reason, here.

Still, my father, I ask why you are here.
And through those long, untimely years did God
watch your slow paralysis grow, more
deaf than He had any right to be?
I’d rather think that you were just unlucky
and not some pawn in God’s unending poem.

I’d like to think that somehow my small poem
could bring a measure of solace, even here.
Whitman said he felt that death was lucky,
that he could far outstrip most any god,
that through his manly verses we could be
immortal—a self, a song, a kosmos, something more.

Soon enough, we’ll all be nothing more
than figures in some unforgotten poem
(if we’re lucky). God, don’t let us be
cut off, incomplete, like a sestina, ending here.


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