At edge of the grave,
this farewell to a father,

these thanks to a man who
wanted no thanks,

nor reminders to rise on ten-thousand dark
mornings because love, he knew, takes work,

who met responsibilities the
way most of us simply breathe,

without thought or calculation,
just the breathing in and out,

a reflex of generosity as
effortless as air, while

helping neighbors mend pants
or strangers find their way,

with mind and hands joined together
in something more than prayer,

he stood on level ground, taking
measure of a world

so desperate for repair,
and did his best.

He cut the pattern of our lives.

 -For Jerry Schechter, 1918-2008
      Devoted husband, father, and grandfather,
      cooperator, garment worker, union man, reader
      of books & people, artful sculptor, ingenious fixer of
      things, socialist, idealist, cynic, pragmatist, New Yorker,
      and Jew through and through.

Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, June 14, 2009


All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter