Remembering Jack            

~On a line from The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion


“No eye is on the sparrow but he did tell me that.”

Even when the dew was on the grass, he rang

with the clear air of morning. The heat of noonday sun,

the cool lake water reflecting his presence.


You keep him alive in a photo, in an article of clothing,

in the way he relished green olives…your granddad’s

favorite. Grief will drive you mad. That is why you must

come to terms with life being precarious. No eye


on the sparrow…just on the greater flock crossing

the horizon. It isn’t too late to change this missing

of calm peace…someone told me that.  Once you went

to a funeral and the speaker said the dead was


a curmudgeon. You thought, is this okay, this irreverence?

You have made something of him that he wasn’t…but

it’s for my daughter and grandchildren, you argue. Yes

it is for all of us to recall his good, not his drinking,


his rages, his rudeness, his greediness. He was one of those

people who didn’t have an eye on anything but himself.

Not the dew droplets on the tomato leaves, not the smell

of warm pine pitch on the path, not his tired family.


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