A man I worked with died recently. He was the kind of guy who drank gin with a touch of scotch for extra flavor, the kind of guy that could comfortably wear clown costumes to Halloween parties. He’s much missed, but I can’t help smiling whenever I think of him.

DEATH

When I die
lay me down a fine table
and eat well for me.
Any ham sandwiches
must be deviled
and deviled be the eggs as well.
There must be soup
made with a good stock–
bones simmered clean–
and if you love me,
throw in some dill.
For wine, a strong red,
dry for preference,
but of more importance
the olives. Any pickles
must be crisp and kosher.
Cheesecake for dessert,
light and fine,
cranberry sauce if winter,
raspberries if some other time.
Don’t wear shoes or hose
or ties or suits,
but you can wear black
if you want to,
if you want to.