I am eating breakfast
as my friend walks in.
He sits across from me,
face pale, eyes swollen with tears
that will not fall. His father
died two days ago.
He talks about his father's last day,
how good his spirits were
even in the hospital's intensive care.
I think of the wreck of my father's death
some thirty years before and remember
how my friend looked at me then.
He talks on about his father's wishes:
no viewing, quick cremation.
He lowers his head, mumbles
"very good that way, very good."
Outside, in bright summer sun
we walk among overgrown front poppy gardens,
full leaved trees of a good city neighborhood.
We walk for hours thinking of little
except death but speaking none of it.
After growing up under the shadow of Heppenstall Steel Mill in Pittsburgh, Pa., Joseph Lisowski has spent much of his life near the sea, including 10 years in St. Thomas, VI., which serves as the setting for his three published mystery novels, FULL BODY RUB, LOOKING FOR LISA, and LOOKING FOR LAUREN.