Thinking About A Dead Friend

How secretly critical I was

of his passivity, his naiveté

about the world, even

his embarrassment and awkwardness.

How it made me feel

I should help him

—and how I resented that feeling.

How I wanted something from him

but can’t say what

except perhaps more words.

Now when suddenly I miss him

and realize he no longer exists

in this city…in this world,

I wonder why

his quiet caring

and steady gentleness

were not enough for me.

Harvey Shepard is a professor emeritus of physics at the University of New Hampshire.

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