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March 20, 2023

Paying Respects

By Gary Glauber

Paying Respects

The touching memorial seems heartfelt,
transforming clichés into confessions
about the man with a fine reputation
for quality work at reasonable rates.
It was a respectable career accompanying
a beautiful family of four fetching daughters,
all present with handsome families of their own.
I feel strange here, an impartial observer,
a funereal presence with distant connections.
I work with one of those lovely daughters.
Under unforgiving fluorescents,
I admire her from the remove of many cubicles,
never once admitting the crush I harbor,
knowing she has a life apart from this.
Here I can't help but size up the players
surrounding and consoling her,
the athletic college-age son,
the older man I assume might be the husband.
I suppose she'll never know
the sound of my footsteps in the morning,
the ardor I fold neatly inside
like a carefully coordinated handkerchief.
When two fairly comparable job offers
came my fateful way, her stately elegance
was the silent deciding factor.
A pretty face, a smile is all she ever offered
and ten years later, I am forced to admit
it still might have been more than enough.

Article © Gary Glauber. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-04-22
Image(s) are public domain.
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