They say on the day each person is born
That marks the day of one definite death.
In between these two marks on the notch post of time
is everyone and everything that matters in one life.
After 47 years on a job, among friends,
there were birthdays and holidays,
maybe a romance or secret honeymoon.
There was delivering the daily news,
watching the clouds and the sunsets,
fixing the broken things, tossing the trash,
waking in a dark room, letting the light in,
asking after the neighbor’s flowers,
speeding past the sounds of ceaseless existence
in a KSCO car with radio tuned
to avoid traffic jams and lousy weather.
Particulars forgotten, kindnesses remembered,
the big 89 earthquake calmly weathered
with all the rest of the insanity of becoming human.
I imagine the sad last definite day of Don’s sweet life,
coughing until too weak to keep breathing,
emerging from the panic into the endless calm…
Flying into the light
luxuriously remembering the recent dream of life…
Marks like growing an inch since last year,
learning to swim, riding a bike,
closing eyes for that very first kiss,
inhaling smoke after a fire,
operating the control board,
teaching newbies the ropes,
finding love, trouble, ecstasy, tragedy.
Radiating gentle kindness, caring concern,
making a little difference each day
in the gigantic world of the living.
And the long wind of change blows the sails of this voyage
through choppy waters and glassy swells
always toward the light.
When you look back on it all, so few things are certain,
and so many adventures remain unsung.
You are missed and remembered well, kind friend.