Back Next Closing Shop

A week before
he said to his wife
"Esther it is time
to close up shop"
My mother thought
he meant the business
He held onto himself
until the last hour
preserving my mother's
image of him as brave
independent and stubborn
Death appeared
and the image
she had of him
Out came his real spirit
it took shape
there was fun in him
He opened his eyes and winked
Playfully crossed
and recrossed his naked legs
His heart
was bursting
with bliss
He shook with laughter
My mother got frightened
"Sammy are you alright?
Are you dreaming?"
He could not explain
he was passing away
leaving her behind

Irwin R. Shaw - March 1988