For Chris
By Alyssa A. Lappen
It is odd, how years beyond your death,
I remain loyal. Now when I think of our last
Goodbye--the hug that tempered your arms
With steel despite your failing health--
It renews my sense of goodness in you,
Friendship that could outlast a thousand wars.

How I loved you Chris, in a way befitting
Arab and Jew--though we did not see ourselves
As such, but set first and last about weaving
A tapestry of years and words, ideas, nothing
Else, pastel patterns of hope flickering in
The Camp David accords, your cigarette

Smoke, mood, like sips of chamomile tea,
To stoke omnipotent passion for language,
Type and print, poems, wind rippling
The Mississippi, on levees of the Crescent City,
Your raucous laugh and toss of hair, savoring
Each irony--small peace--praising life.


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