Hello, Sir.

I think that’s how I would have addressed you
if I’d met you
this side of the Jordan

If I cared more about history
I would have admired you longer;
I’ve missed out.

But my children will hear about you.
Tomorrow I’ll tell their 5 and 3 year old hearts
A story of non-trendy grit.

They’ll ask
What color is he?
and I’ll say

And I’ll add
He was just 9 years older than Grandpa and he and I shared the same birth date!
and they’ll say

As if color and age clarify everything,
tie up the loose ends they were fussing with all along,
they’ll appear satisfied with the details.

Was he sick?
Yes, he had cancer.
They know about cancer and death by cancer;
it won’t be a completely new sad story.

Can we see pictures?
Of course!
Perhaps I’ll put together a Google compilation right now, call you Uncle.

Because when I heard the news this morning,
something shifted inside as if we’d spent time
discussing my teen love interests, job prospects, and how to define progress.

You’ll rest in peace;
there’s no other way to rest.
Goodnight, Sir.

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