To all whom these Presents come, Greeting.
I, William Edward Schechter, of birth certificate, September 30, 1946
I, bunte nu, of grandfather Yiddish endearment,
I, Billy Schechter, of Bronx, Amalgamated, P.S. 95, Camp Kinder Ring,
        DeWitt Clinton H.S., Ithaca,
I, Bill Schechter, of Boston and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional H.S.,
I, "B," to family and close friends,

                           do hereby attest:

First half-century completed.
         (The second will
          defeat me, I know)

For now, triumph-- survival to once
              unimaginable age!
         At fifty, how much absorbed,
                            how little resolved!

For now, tempests recede,
       angry words,
              slights imagined,
                      injuries intended,

For now, ambitions mellow,
         hopes settle,
              acceptance grows,
                        stoicism sown--a whole new crop.

The ocean turbulent, tossed by swells,
this voyage over, the volume completed,
                     as I turn toward the Golden Door.

It is in the distance.
I see it.

September 1996

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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