One ended up in a car dealership
squinting out through a dry orange morning
at an endless series of cold days.

One left a dense trail of words behind her
like pawprints through the forest
to where none, eventually, could follow.

One died young,
in a fall from his dorm room window
that was never quite ruled an accident.

And one cared for her daughters
as long and as tenderly as she could
until the cancer claimed her.

One walked off the field, though,
past where we could see.

We cannot picture him grown up–
the mind rebels at a Bender incarcerated,
or worse, mundane:

thinking of gum care,
concerned with lawns,
compromised like us.

He is frozen in time
fist raised in defiance and warning
until the screen goes black.

He has helped us as long as he could.

Try not to forget.


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