Richard Luftig


First he goes to the obits
and if he’s not in there
pours a second cup of coffee.
(The old jokes work best don’t you think?)
Then on to the weather map,
checking the highs and lows
in the lower forty-eight:
Needles, California and Embarrass,
Minnesota, then to Fairbanks, 59 below.
(If you ask him that’s just showing off).
He reads the classifieds, all those jobs
that passed him by when he grew old,
and condos for sale in Florida, desert lots,
swap meets, mobile homes and those
business opportunities promising
to earn him a million in a month.
Then finally, down to the boxed-in poems
at the bottom of the page; sad,
rhymed anniversary odes written
for wives, mothers, lovers,
in bad couplets and end-stopped meters,
all those things he wished
he said while she was still here.

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