Party (For Tribung G)

Birthdates in August are occasion for survivors
to congregate & feast at the common table –
& Spanish wine, like sala conversation,
will flow on & on & on
but all words & allusions
will crash against a dam
of arrested inertia, half-conclusions
the finality of an absence –
O patriarch!
Who grips the heart like a classic love song.


Does he cut a solitary figure in our life?
He’s silent, tough: the Gary Cooper-type
“Depression” only the eldest would pull
like some artistic ace up his sleeve
Yes, he would have smiled at the festive air
of kids stuffing themselves at the feast
Yes, he would laugh silly at familial jests –
Enough grief then, he would have none of it
Live! Live! Live! was his rule, his creed
Ex-guerilla who played with a full deck
Sadness he wouldn’t on this world inflict

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