Goodbye to you to Shirley
We shared a birthday for more than 85 years.
Now you are gone.
My expert knowledge of your exact age
no longer in my vita.
When we were young everyone I knew
The Depression came and you sang and danced
and I listened.
Most everyone I knew was alive.
For many years I watched you
cheer people up and we
and most everyone else was alive.
The War came and you sold war bonds.
While I fought the Nazis
with my rubber guns in the ditches
behind my house.
There were a few gold stars
in neighborhood windows.
Many I knew were alive
and I listened to the stories
of the brave survivors.
Fast cars, plenty of boozy parties
youthful bravado and we were fewer.
Still we were the alive group.
My reunions reminded me that
there were more last year.
But those I missed were
just a few.
The next reunions were smaller
and a memorial plaque was designed
and I secretly hoped my name
would not be added to the engravings.
Postage for my annual Christmas cards
went down each year.
Yet some of the people I knew
were still around.
The habit of reading the obit columns
in the daily paper
was an invitation to celebrate.
Yet there was but a sprinkling of
those I knew.
I laughingly joked about Toby mugs,
100 old Napoleon Brandy
and last one out turns out the lights
and these were tagged at letters end.
Most of the people I knew are now dead
and I wonder why I am still here,
but not wishing to change.
Yes most are now gone
and you too have left me
here to turn out the lights! Doug Minnis 2/16/2014