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Thursday, June 3, 2010 01:40 am

farewelltopaul poem

nephews nieces cousins of all ages
we searched the serene chicago
cemetery sunday alone except for
the myriads of departed but where
was our departed the heirs who carried
his coffin through the february drifts
said he’s here somewhere the snow was
over the tombstones then but now with
sun and grass and flowers . . . we never
did find the plot but before leaving we
called paul we’re here we’ve had a grand
weekend did you hear us sing for your
ninety-third birthday and tell your stories
the time you got locked out of your room
in the middle of the night naked and the
hotel people wanted identification and
the time you got run over by a motorcycle
on a german escalator but we could relate
only a fraction we needed our favorite
raconteur thanks for footing the bill for
us all to come we love you and miss you
it’s fitting you’re near mies van der rohe
you were his last living student we can’t
find his grave either but trust you’re
communicating, also with louis sullivan
. . . far across the greensward a first cousin
(thrice-removed) age seven leaps from
stone to stone a woodland sprite in the forest
of arden he ends with a dozen cartwheels
before running to rejoin his extended family
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