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When an Old Man Loses
     (for Donald Lev)
When an old man 
loses an old friend his      sorrow is
   greater than all his years
         	It becomes a coat 
	        he cannot take off 

no matter the weather. 
It is a heavy coat       
     but it gives no warmth,
     no relief from the cold of death.

And yet 
he wears it as he wanders through 
the neighborhood of his grief,  
blue avenues, gray streets, 
          blocks the color of early
          morning mist             

And while he walk he cries,

          "Haunt me." into the sleeve
            of the coat he wears.

And, receiving no answer, he watches
as his hat of pain is blown 
                            across a terrain of 
                             vacant years

When an old man loses an old friend he holds
his friends memory in the pocket of his coat
       a bit of warmth against the 
       absolute chill he feels
As if someone left a door open 
in a bitter winter.

  Frank Murphy