by Martin Golan
Paul died today. The phone right here on my desk just rang
What is there to say of it?
That death, that arrogant blowhard
is throwing around his weight again?
Jessica, so quickly a widow He was maybe 48 is my guess, she a bit younger
and Isabel and Henry, still alive, still rebelling
She in college, he just finishing high school
We carpooled for years“Longest running carpool in history,” was the jokeYou had to creep up their driveway, gravel scrunching, dirt flying
They’d see you through the big kitchen window and wave like mad
in a rush of hurried conversation, the high-tension tangleof a family morningIt was always tricky to back out, the way the driveway curved, I thinkback down onto busy Watchung Avenuethrough gravel and dustCancer
What the hell else?The funeral’s the day after tomorrow, last day of the year
Snow’s still on the ground around here, and it’s bitterly cold
You said you had snow, too, didn’t you?
It could warm up by then, but who knows what will happenIn the end, all the forecasts are wrongas often as they’re rightOh, I forgot to tell you, he was an architectHe had plans for that drivewayFor the house, too, and the yardHe told me all about it one soft October afternoonas he was raking leaves