Simon’s mother passed on Tuesday morning,
The news came by as I was visiting my parent’s home,
I haven’t seen Simon since last day of high school,
A week after graduation, twelve years ago, we were both gone.
For the funeral, I wore my dark gray jacket,
On the church’s steps, I met Guy Mendelsohn,
He still lives in town, three blocks from his parents,
And drives deliveries for Westbrook and sons.
Simon sat in the front row, left of center,
With his sister, her husband, and their child,
They did not look back at us arriving,
We sat in a middle pew, all the way to the side.
Guy said she died from too much smoking,
Emphysema took her slowly at the end,
I don’t remember much of her from childhood,
Except her constant cigarette in hand.
The ceremony was quite somber, very quiet,
Simon took the altar and spoke brief,
He told of mother’s life and all her habits,
The daytime soaps and cooking were her thing.
A line of cars continued to Green Acres,
It user to be way out there, but no more,
The place is now surrounded by the city,
A new mall had just opened right next door.
Reception took us back to church’s basement,
Egg salad, tuna sandwiches, and slaw,
I joined Guy and two strangers at a table,
The small talk wasn’t going well at all.
Simon came to thank us a while later,
He was surprised to see me there at first,
“I happened to be visiting my parents,”
He smiled, “Give your mom and dad my best”.
Guy jumped in and asked him about Jenny,
They used to be a couple, that I knew,
“Not for quite some time now”, answered Simon,
“She went back to Chicago, studying law.”
The friendship that we once shared is no longer,
I tried to tell them both about my life,
It felt like talking weather with a stranger,
I said “It’s good to see you both. I’ll see you soon.”
Simon turned to talk to other people,
Lunch was winding down, I turned to leave,
Guy got up and wished me “See you later”,
My hands were in my pockets with the car keys.
Dinner, later, seated at my parents,
Sharing how my day went, how was theirs,
Dad had finished planting some tomatoes,
Veeromas, will be ready for next spring.
May 17, 2012