Elena Klein (1913-2004)

I did not attend her memorial,
my heart’s image is enough: 
a gardener with her chinaberry tree,
a poet writing for great-grand-kids, 
soul of a many gabled house
waiting for friends to come for tea.

I just didn’t want to go; too fat
for my decent slacks, too ornery
for any show of piety. But now
I’ll tell about one night at our
Not Yet Dead Poets’ Society. 

A man had finished an epic rant
of homelessness and addiction.
Elena reaches across the table, 
slowly moves her arms to catch 
his hands in hers. Eyes shut, 
she bows deeply, gripping him,
clutching him in mute, 
divine apology.