For Clara and Simon

Gone was your graduation day
the rose you held,
crushed. Gone was your church wedding day,
the white lace torn.
Gone were your four giggling daughters,
the pony rides,
the parties with hundreds of guests,
the swaying lights,
and the sound of a jazz band,
wailing, hollering.
Simon watched you die. It was like
bearing witness
to a white jade palace crumbling
for five decades
until it collapsed in a heap
of gray rubble.
Simon talked to his lawyers. He
set the business
you both started on its own course.
He said goodbye
to friends, daughters, and grandchildren.
He picked a suit,
closed the bedroom door and lay down.

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