She graces us with her presence—
Gracious presence, divine and hers.
But leaning with damned dependence
On one who shared easier years.
We open our arms and hearts;
Familiar words are sought;
Remembered laughter echoes;
Our purpose for gathering forgot.
At table she lifts her glass.
“To the many, many good times.”
We join her in this toast and grace,
Shape our faces into smiles;
Our hearts silently breaking
For what will not be again.
Don Niederfrank is a retired clergy person living in Wisconsin and delighting in the companionship of his wife, the wit of his friends, the forgiveness of his children, and often commutes to Chicago to enjoy the growth of his grandchildren. He is usually a very grateful and happy person.
His writing credits include a short story “A Problem with Numbers” in “Ariel Chart”; flash fictions “Rug” in “Open: Journal of Arts and Letters and “Transcendence” in “Gay Flash Fiction”;” and a sonnet “Up Lights” in “Prospectus.”