by Don Washburn
I stopped to muse where a headstone said
in letters mutable and thin
that MUSIE, eleven, lay long dead
and would not see the sun again
Her name, muted and far away,
fluttered flute-like, but could not say
what silences she wandered in
or what the music might have been.
The Kitchen brothers with their cart
were as strange a pair as you could find;
the crippled one was very smart,
the strong one had a feeble mind.
This one pushed and that one steered.
The cart neither slowed nor veered
and in an oxymoronic sense,
repaired at once God's negligence.
Could I forget you at that last gasp,
my most companionable flesh,
body so near, so dear, whose clasp
is close as blood and breath can mesh?
But membranes burst, members dismembered,
and the electric memories disremembered,
divided by infinity,
what will our old friendship be?"
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Updated September 9, 1998