The room is quiet with people.
I hear the hushed voices over
the machine’s ceaseless whir-r-r.
I watch the entering and the leaving.
My father is dying.
Jerry “nisht do.” He is not here.
He has gone.
Let us put on the garments of mourning
and open our hearts to grief.
Let us mark the passing of our father.
Now is the time to say Kaddish.
Hear O Israel, another Jew has died.
Universe, blow your trumpets.
Cosmos, please dim your million lights.
the Bronx–they join
in the weeping.)
Here is the hearse.
Step back, let it pass.
It bears the body
of a tzaddick,
patriarch of his family,
a friend to all,
who chose the pathways of
selflessness and integrity, and
whose ten commandments