ecstasy of sorrows

this business of living, kills us all
“He lived a good life,” they said
one, after another–
and the women wept, the men, solemn
hands folded, heads tipped, slightly down
watching seam-stocking legs and shining shoes
growing up– out of the sullen-umber ground
the combed-hair children, epiphanous, this day
ninety seven years after his own birth
shaking, wrinkle-knuckle handfuls of dirt
tossed upon his gleaming, black-lacquer box
and what does anyone know of a man
even in a near-century, to offer in eulogy?
most thoughts exist
only within a mind’s secrecy
never spoken, their treason
nor, especially, their selfless honor
never known, a man’s ecstasy of sorrows
these, his own, his doting harem of shadows
and to each, be he devoted
aye, and to all

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