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A Birthday poem for Chris (February 27th)



                         Germany we had planned for your birthday, or Bergen

                        Or, finances lacking, a dog sledding trip in Banff,

                        The destination not the point, just that this would be your 30th,

                        No, would have been had you not died six weeks after

                        Your 29th. All ages were contained in you. Some days

                        I called you “puppy,” others “Gramps,” eyes shifting between

                        Vivid giddiness, sweet liquidity and routine’s weary glaze.

                        And yet, you wanted to age so much, loved the thought of grey,

                        A slower pace, even infirmity through which we would lie

                        Together, calm. You wept at seniors holding hands.

                        You were like no young man I ever knew. Or will ever know again.

                        Now what does growing old hold? No you there

                        To hope for a vision of my long white hair, and music

                        Between us—softer, but there, still.