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THIS THING SLIPPED IN

for Danny on his 50th

This thing slipped in like a glacier from nowhere,
this thing streaked by like a "D" train express.

Just yesterday you had to watch Howdy Doody,
just yesterday you were white blond and skinny,
just yesterday you had us in stitches in the living room,
just yesterday you were giving it to Grandma Sarah,
just yesterday she was giving it right back to you,
just yesterday your food fell in the pages of the NY Post,
just yesterday you never noticed and just kept on reading,
just yesterday you ignored me as you read Kempton, oblivious,
just yesterday I repeated the same question three times again,
just yesterday you were eating cream cheese and jelly,
just yesterday you were making a helluva mess,
just yesterday you were picking my toes in the dark,
just yesterday you called for a "secret meeting,"
just yesterday you were running for G.O. president,
just yesterday I destroyed all of your airplane models,
just yesterday you trudged off to our basement shule,
just yesterday you delivered leaflets for Leibman,
just yesterday you won a gold coke bottle for your dancing,
just yesterday I couldn't watch and ran in the bathroom
just yesterday you were listening to Edward R. Murrow,
just yesterday you were down on the dock being funny,
just yesterday you were flunking Spanish big time,
just yesterday you were downtown ("hey, where's Danny?"),
just yesterday you bought a hi-fi and Odetta was singing,
just yesterday you took guitar lessons and played the same chord for years,
just yesterday I slept on as you tapped at the window
just yesterday you locked me out of my very own bedroom,
just yesterday you screwed Bonny when Mom and Dad went out,
just yesterday you were doing some work on your hair,
just yesterday you were eating oreo cookies,
just yesterday you were editing The Clinton News,
just yesterday you were on the court imitating Popcorn Ferguson,
just yesterday I crossed the street when I saw you were picketing,
just yesterday I wondered how I was ever going to keep up,
just yesterday you were teasing me and I wanted to kill you,
just yesterday you sent me "Blowing in the Wind,"
just yesterday we were in Atlantic City,
just yesterday you pointed out Martin Luther King,
just yesterday you took me to Harlem to show me,
just yesterday you were always running,
just yesterday I was still asking you a question three times,
just yesterday I found grass in your drawer all wrapped in tinfoil,
just yesterday I turned you in,
just yesterday I found your note when I arrived in Ithaca,
just yesterday you were dissecting the news,
just yesterday you told me Grandma was dead,
just yesterday you told me Sarah was born,
just yesterday you were crying for joy and exhaustion,
just yesterday we were burying our mother,
just yesterday you were slightly late,
just yesterday you were in Rio ("hey, where's Danny?"),
just yesterday you were making jokes,
just yesterday you had Ethan and Jamie laughing,
just yesterday I still wanted to kill you,
just yesterday I was still wondering if I could keep up,
just yesterday, again, "are you Danny's brother?"
just yesterday you were my older brother,
just yesterday, yikes, you're only four years older,
just yesterday you've never given up fighting,
just yesterday and forever you've remained true and faithful.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
DANNY, I SAID HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
WILL YOU PUT DOWN THAT GODDAM PAPER.
OK, LET'S TRY IT ONE MORE TIME.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! LOVE!!

June, 1992



All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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