The Death of the One with whom I Sailed

26 April 2020

By Philip Kuepper

(For Michael Meyer)

How lovely lay the lake of my boyhood,
at the foot of the blue hills,
the lake that played at wearing
diamonds and emeralds,
when sunlight would play across it.
Across it, nacre-sailed boats would fly,
blown by the soft
breezes of summer.  White butterflies
were the boats that flamed
against the blue hills, the lake
flashing like diamonds the sun would cause
snap!, making the water
appear rough when it wasn’t.

Laughter would curl up off the boats’ decks,
and die in the air, after laughter
the only sounds the yawing
and groaning of masts and sails,
and the water, lapping, lapping
the shining hulls.  Why, then, was I
always pensive, sensing there was some
threat approaching?  What threat?
From where?  Some sudden
unexpected death?  Of what?
Of whom?  The death of the one
whom I would meet, and fall
in love with?  A premonition of something
so far into my future?

I was ten.
It is sixty years later.
And dying lies my beloved
in this room where I am

(18 April 2020: This was written two days before Michael died.)


  1. A soft and poignant tribute to the sadness of joy encased in the awareness of loss. Words don’t suffice, but thank you, and peace.

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