On this bright sunny Saturday morning

We honor our dear friend,

By honoring what is in the vase.

Yesterday he was reverentially burned,

His flesh reduced to a modest collection

Of sooty ash.


Now we attend the mass

Celebrating his past.

There will be insense and candles,

Speeches and various prayers.

Former students will recall his quirks.

Former colleagues will recall his merits.

His widow will be strong

As she strains to look beyond the vase

And the paltry collection of sooty ash.


--April 6, 2013