When I think of my passing days,
a smile comes before a tear.

Of the people I’ve lost, of the friends
I’ve found, each is a balloon
ready to be released—to go aloft—
over my head until it disappears.

Yet I hold them fast—by their strings—
to mourn or to enjoy their company and
something more—to keep their memory
alive, and to quell all my fears.

For though these days are baleful, and
the future is uncertain; the past is not dead.