Monday, May 10, 2010


This poem is for Richard Gustavson, my house-mate and close friend, who passed away from cancer, January 2010.

You were a source of energy and enthusiasm.
I took your smile for granted.
Now you’re gone.
Another casualty of heavy smoking.
I’ve quit now, hopefully for good.
I miss our daily walks down the street to Starbucks.
We made friends there, many who still ask about you.
I enjoyed our time together, watching movies like The Forbidden Planet, Gettysburg and Batman on your new, flat screen.
I miss you showing your creased and crumpled photos, your Honorable Discharge from 1971 and your military pictures.
I saw your Life rank from the Boy Scouts.
I was also a Life rank.
Someone placed a United States flag on your coffin.
It looked very distinguished.
I was glad for the time we had together and the chance to meet your family.
I told them how you liked Paul McCartney and The Beatles.
And the fun we had with the music therapist.
Your passing was too sudden.
You were strong and didn’t mention discomfort.
I was taken by surprise when our manager told us you were dying.
I remember your love of electronics.
“J + J,” you spoke of, along with “Individualism and Collectivism.”
You asked, “When are you going to get published?”
I’m sure that soon I will, with you as my inspiration.
Rest in Peace.


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