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Poem: To "LJ" on the Occasion of My Retirement From Life Guarding 

I'm sorry I took too long to respond to your last letter
in which you expressed your desire to visit
with assurances that you no longer did
crazy,
death defying
antics.

I've always hated that I found out
from your mother's family holiday letter
which came nearly a year after
you took your own life
on the previous
New Year's Day....

No wonder you had to be so extreme in talent,
so piercing in pain to penetrate such callousness:
Hers
and
mine.

After 35 years, I still find you in the cold winter sky where
Orion
lingers omni potently
over
my
front yard.

And in the hawk who spirals effortlessly
higher
and
higher
as I write this,
until
gone
from my sight.

Given your ethereal state
you know
that the waves created
when you
cannonballed
into my life
ripple silently, anonymously,
in perpetuity.

It was quite a career!

Eternally grateful,
dld

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