Nick Kristof had a tumor and we are both happy now

you might not even know who he is,
but he's a major league columnist
for the Grey Lady,
where I have never managed to land,
even though Dana Pangaro and I
pledged to meet up there
ten years after our high school graduation;

of course, at that time, me and Dana
were more interested in skirts and skiffs
that ledes and riffs on the latest political mess,
if it glimmered in the shade,
and shimmied in a dress,
we were all over it;

which is partly the explanation for why
thirty-eight years later,
that we are both doing other things
(although still skirt fans,
not so much on skiffs anymore);

so I read today that Nick had a big brush
with mortality recently:
a tumor on his right kidney,
and suddenly, he said, not much else
was important
but living some more;

I have been subscribing to that
credo for a while now,
for different reasons, but similar
enough, that I can relate:
kiss me now, not later,
tell me you love me today,
not tomorrow,
and let me go ahead and play,
and leave the sorrow
for another day,
maybe far away;

in your mind's eye,
the best camera going:
a big, brutish sort,
filled with heart and soul,
and damned well worth knowing,
who knew his way with words
and who was not afraid to let
words have their way,
who was always happy to arrive,
happier still to stay,
and always sad to leave,
always fearful of being a stray;

looking at that dark door,
and wishing it away,
wishing it away.

June 5, 2010.

Copyright © 2010, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.