01  May
bittersweet

this was written for the second big company of elegies … which performed at the rapp arts center in the east village in 1990 … having just directed the show at the boston conservatory of music with an amazing cast of students, faculty, alumni and staff, i looked this up and felt it captures many of the same emotions i felt doing the show again…


(for the company of elegies… 3/4/90)

bob was an acquaintance
we shared some laughs and beers
enjoyed each other’s company
through disco-crazy years
occasional convergences
parties
or the street
and even once on maui
with nights especially sweet

one day in minnesota
i heard that he was ill
and from a boiling phone booth
called to say “it’s bill”
the ensuing conversation
began what would become
a cherished interaction
which lasted from that moment
until we said goodbye
when he was going home
and knew that he would die

i don’t mean to be morbid
‘cause that friendship was sublime
and never would have found its depth
if he’d maintained his prime
an ironic gift of sharing
honest and complete
a priceless interaction
but oh so bittersweet

lately i’ve been going
to the funerals of friends
am often quite amazed
how their abbreviated ends
can open up such feeling
among those left behind
depth of interaction
we’d surely never find
without these grim reminders
that life is all too short
and we make that extra effort
to create a port of safety
in the middle of the fray
by renewing our commitments
to ride this wave of feeling
until a better day

not exactly happy
these endings aren’t that neat
but neither are they only black
simply bittersweet

now you and i
have reached the end
of one grand undertaking
not everyone responded
to the effort we’ve been making
but many more than not
were moved by what we’ve done
perhaps we needed this release
as much as anyone

i wish we’d lacked the impetus
to have to gather here
but since the rain keeps fallin’ down
thank you for being near
for being an umbrella
and a cup to catch some tears
this is an experience
to cherish through the years

such conflicts of emotion
sad chills to raucous heat
how special to have shared this plate
to taste the bittersweet

posted by admin on May 1, 2002, at 1:00 am | filed under elegies..., poetry | no comments »

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