Strange Envy

Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis

Envy them
Those who stand bent before the casket
wiping away their tears.
Envy them their memories of
Warm embraces, gentle humour,
birthdays, anniversaries,
joyous meals around the Sabbath

Pity those who cannot cry
whose tears have long been
dried into resignation,
surrendering the promise.

Pity the dried-eyed sadness
of those who can only dream of that
which could have been, or should have been.

Pity those who regret what should have been said to them,
or what they should have spoken,
the loves lost, the joys missed,
the hopes abandoned.

Pity those whose memories turn on subjunctive moods--
"If only he had, if only she had, if only I had."

Envy the mourners
who with sweet-bitter nostalgia
slowly recite the Kaddish.

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Monday, January 31, 2011 - 11:30am