But I thought of you, Maddy, so many times,
                not even including
      when I just found your obituary deep in
   the archives of the New York Times, a whole
         life reduced to a pdf file, asking
me, please, in lieu off flowers, to contribute to the
    National Colitis Foundation,

you the laughing girl who took me, straight-ass high school
      senior, down to the Village to hear Bob Dylan, who
   got me stoned, first time ever, in the crotch of a
            tree in Van Cortlandt Park, how we laughed, who
    taught me the language of love-the whole deal, with
 no conditional tenses -by the 18th hole, while we hugged and

and watched the Broadway El throw blue-white sparks
   into that star-shot hot Bronx night, you the laughing
         sad girl, your mother dead, you the lonely girl
      whose father was too scared or too hip to
interrupt our love-making one room away, you the
             troubled girl with her tale of abortions,

all this during my last summer at home, then off
    to college, while you stayed behind, while you died
              at twenty-seven, the laughing girl, the
         beautiful girl, so alive in memory, the hot summer,
     the green grass, the blue-white sparks.

In memory of Maddy, 1947-1974
September 2007

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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