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Jul/Aug 2014 Poetry

Ten Years Later

by David Oestreich

Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI, Digital Media Database, www.genome.gov

Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI, Digital Media Database, www.genome.gov


Ten Years Later

December 5, 2013

What I remember best besides
the Lake Michigan swell, raised
man-high by the same December
wind that cut its chill, bitter as
surviving, straight through our
little graveside circle and kept me
shivering in just my suit and tie,
was not your pastor's homily, which
might as well have trailed the city's
litter in its flight to Illinois, but
the single memory I had instead
attended, which played and replayed
as if it were again the day I'd last
seen you—you reeling, drunk,
of course, trying to tell some story
(which I've also now forgotten)
as you stumbled around the room,
eyes half closed, giggling out
your words, and beads of sweat
forming at your temples, as surely
droplets must precipitate along the tip
of a wave in that moment before
it finally breaks.

 

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