Slightly tearful I get reading Henry King's "Exequy" .
in the coffee shop imagining for three seconds what it would be
to outlive my dear Jill
but only slightly briefly tearful because it's a coffee shop after all
and because I do re-realize as usual that the tears would be
largely for me
and the beauty of my devotion
and that in a long blue shadow behind a sweetly hypothetical sorrow
there waits the possibility—
the probability by and by that far more expensive tears will need to be shed
in anyone's life as in mine, so to save for that day seems wise;
accordingly it occurs to me that when I teach the "Exequy"
I'd better not read it aloud in class
because I'd get tearful
even before Henry King exclaims in a sudden parenthesis
that his dead wife was for him a world, his little world;
it's good for the professor to care
but the students sense that when the prof gets weepy
it's not good teaching; a serious frugality of tears
should be our study amid the hasting years.
Slightly tearful I get reading Henry King's "Exequy"
Mark Halliday's fifth book of poems isKeep This Forever. He teaches at Ohio University.
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