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You Left Before Our Dinner, Old Friend

Apologies for the lapse last Friday, BPFers! We’re now back to our regular schedule of weekday updates. May you enjoy this contribution from Angie Boissevain; Angie, thank you for sharing with us at Turning Wheel.

You Left Before Our Dinner, Old Friend

Angie Boissevain


I’m bereft without your face, especially

your eyes, always large with sympathy,

and your wide Greek lips eager with talk.

Our speaking always pleased me,

our words a vivid rocky stream of loving

and disagreement. You thought you had

the only proper way to teach our Zen,

pressing me about  my knowledge

of ritual, so important to you,

and my authority to teach, while I

smiled and assured you, and let it be.

Twenty years of bean and kale dinners,

book exchanges, and long sushi lunches

after slow slow walks through town.


And now you’ve left before our dinner.

No longer hungry, I rest and think

of my last view of you, after your sudden

awful fall.  You were stretched under a sheet

on a high bed where you twitched

and sighed before you slept, then once,

woke, and the one good eye

opened with a glint of brightness, looked

at me one last time, eye filled with our

familiar truth that nothing is permanent.

Now, from your lugubrious position, I see

that you see, even as you go, the marvelous

unspoken joke between us.

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