Sad, the older one gets,
To think of friends who died.
The longer that you live,
The more there are of them.

And yet
We survivors
Garner so many memories!

Recalling happy moments
Can be our way of rolling over in the sun
Like dog or cat in happy ecstasy.

For instance:
Lying on the grass of a small park,
Gene having bicycled over,
I having walked to meet him there,
I took from my college backpack
Oscar Williams’ Washington Square Press
Paperback anthology of modern British
And American poetry, and spoke aloud
The words, to raise into life the images,
Of Dylan Thomas’ recently written lyric, “Fern Hill.”

I was four years older than Gene.
He loved the poem very much, as I
Suspected he would. I was not
Playing the teacher, nor he the student.
We were on a fern hill of our own.

That is the sort of memory
An elder can lick lips over,
Grateful as any survivor of an ocean liner
Going down.