More Funerals Than Weddings

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

Not a close friend by any means,
he bravely fought cancer, and lost.
No other friend went to his services,
but lest you think me heroic,
know I was, perhaps, just ghoulishly curious
as to Final Words solemnly spoken.
What would be the column addition
totaled up by the well-meaning rabbi?
When the eulogies are read,
would they provide a clue to my own?
Am I just playing Mark Twain
attending my own funeral,
or am I making serious preparation
to understand the finality of things?
Does the last ledger indicate a zero balance,
marked in neither red or black?
You go out as you came in – with nothing;
a shroud has no pockets, you know.
So, why am I not making more of my time
at the fair before the big tent is taken down forever?

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit:

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Filed under American Jewry, poetry

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