The Play

  They remarked

that he had a rather plain

– yet pleasant – face, and

otherwise nondescript, except

for the way his glasses rested

– yes, even they rested –

on that peaceful face.


They remarked,

Too, that his suit looked proper and

  who’s to say if he had or hadn’t worn

it before today? 

     The appearance of … happiness – or,

was is contentment? –

and serenity had no precedent,

  that any could recall.

Yes, they all agreed.  The undertaker

had none a wonderful job.


There was no hint of the familiar

haunted, harried appearance

                     … balancing…

Against the winds that blew the snow flakes

that, when crushed, made up the glaciers

of his continence.


The face (façade?) lied, and proclaimed of a saga played out upon this very stage!

As the final curtain falls, the protagonist –

  stage light fading, and metaphoric fogs rolling over his lying, dying body –

explains that,

  in learning HOW to appreciate everything (beauty?) without regard to


and his chase, indeed the struggle,

  made it hopeless that Regret could rule this moment.


But then, who’s to say?

They had all watched the play,

and now talked about

–        and over – each facet, the scenes as

they remembered them.


Who’s superficial?  Not I!


For I,


Know not the time

   Nor the place.

And I,


Resolve to live without remorse,

 slip away without regret,

  and die without a grudge;

    to pass the final portal happy:

      Not to die,

        but to have lived, loved, – and

          accepted love.


Superficial?  Folly?  Perhaps.

 But why not?  If we cannot fool ourselves,

   then whom?

If we cannot love ourselves, then whom can we love?

(In death even?) …


I stand by my resolution.




When they gather for me,

  those comments,


maybe they won’t be without precedent.

They won’t.




Joe Girard ©

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I wrote this in the early 1990s.  Not really sure why.  Just wanted to try something different.  I guess I’ve always had this sort of morose sense that I might die an untidy death — and would be exposed as the wimp I am in the process.  I guess I thought this would give me strength.  It seemed like a good idea when I finished it.  Now I’m not so sure.