Poem: Wake | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Poem: Wake 

My neighbor dies the other day.

Today I go to his wake.

He was 77.

We weren't friends.

We were acquaintances.

We were neighbors.

We greeted one another on the road.

In the post office.

In the supermarket.

The word wake means to stay alert.

To watch.

To guard.

It comes from the Old English wacian

To be awake.

To keep watch.

I don't stay long.

I say to his widow, "I'm very sorry."

I hug her.

I talk to two neighbors about local politics.

About the price of gas.

About the new water mains.

About the weather.

About how he doesn't look 77.

About how unexpected it was.

Mostly about the weather.

I don't stay long.

I stay alert.

I watch.

I guard.

It is mostly about the weather.

It is cool but not cold.

It is mostly cloudy.

The sun comes out but doesn't stay long.

—J.R. Solonche

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