On Seeing the Obit of a Long-Lost Friend

Who knows why we didn’t keep up?

If I don’t, we won’t know now…

No time to catch all the years

That empty like coins slipping from a pocket

Turned inside-out

I look at the face of who you became

And I almost don’t see the young man in you.

You became sensible.

A wife, two daughters proud,

Humoring you with the affection

Of those who get the last word,

Reducing you to just a few lines –

The Tolstoy novel that you were

Cut down to a gentle quirk or two,

Without the darkness that made your moments

Of light more searing, more difficult to hold

Onto, knowing they could not last.

I will not let that be

The all of you.

Let these be the last words

That remain of you

Written outside the lines

Falling short maybe, certainly,

But trying as you tried

To be more than was expected

Before the night stole you away.

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Mark Evan Chimsky is an editorial consultant (markchimskyeditorial.com) who headed major publishing imprints and was the editor of a number of bestsellers, including Johnny Cash’s autobiography "Cash." He is a contributor to Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Thrive Global. An award-winning poet, Mark has published poetry and essays in Bullets into Bells, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association), Wild Violet, The Oakland Review, Three Rivers Poetry Journal and Mississippi Review. He is currently developing the musicals The Pledge and Swagger with composer Zev Burrows.

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