So Soon
For Ernest
Early for your memorial party, we sit
wind-blown on a bench by the lifeguard
under his umbrella, yellow as a crayon,
following a lone swimmer, seagulls adrift,
the beach mostly stones. Would you mind
the hedge they’ll plant in the communal
garden where you served us white wine?
Would you have wanted a tree instead?
I know you would have had an opinion.
Just a week ago, in Norway , wearing that
funny Viking helmet, smiling mischievously,
you thought, ‘Even if this trip kills me, it will
have been worthwhile.’ Who knew so soon?
You would of course have minded a friend
falling after toasting you.  Down he went,
fracturing his skull, his hip, I don’t know what
more the xrays showed. In the evening the
sun shining on moist air gave us a rainbow.  

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