Poem: Mr. Chairman Takes His Leave

Mr. Chair­man Takes His Leave
–Rose­mary Catacalos
As to me, I know of noth­ing else but miracles.
—Walt Whit­man

en memo­ria William Rashall Sinkin, 1913–2014

Whit­man, you once told me, is democ­ra­cy on the page, messy
and imper­fect as we are in real life, which gave you hope 

that we would one day make real life true democ­ra­cy, ripe blossom,
pollen dust­ing every moment and per­son, each scam­per­ing mote of light. 

This is why as you lay dying, I read “I Hear Amer­i­ca Singing”
and knew you heard every word and could feel my hand on yours 

though you were already mov­ing toward oth­er mir­a­cles than this life.
A sun­flower fol­lowed your motion and a yel­low dog stood guard. 

You, who lived the notion that the sun belongs to each and every one,
beg­gars, dream­ers, kings, all. You who believed banks could have hearts, 

for god’s sake! You have left it to us, messy and imperfect
as we are and will be, to keep to the work side by side 

and as long as it takes, all the while singing of miracles
just as Whit­man and you taught us to do. Mean­while, you 

were last seen wear­ing blue-plaid paja­mas, a contrasting
blue-plaid bow tie, and sur­round­ed by hummingbirds. 

Hum­ming­birds leave Texas in ear­ly Feb­ru­ary, migrat­ing north
to make new lives. The angle of the sun tells them pre­cise­ly when 

to take their leave. They arrive thou­sands of miles away
in mid-May, about the time of your birth­day. A sunflower 

fol­lows your motion. The yel­low dog stands guard.

Cyn is a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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