He Was Seventeen and Now He’s Seventy

He was seventeen and now he’s seventy
appreciative to have experienced life’s plenty
to go with all the running on empty.
The seventeen was his age when his
dad stepped in front of a train
and his brother-in-law was the one to
view the grizzly remains.
A poet and professor of the history of science
writes that a child under eighteen whose
parent commits suicide is three times
more likely to do the same than one eighteen.
What a shame.
He was seventeen and three times more
likely to do the same.
He was forty-eight when his wife
died in a day
and he didn’t want to stay
and was strongly tempted but said,
“I guess I’ll stay…
for awhile.” A psychiatrist quotes an
Arthur Miller line in After the Fall, “…a
suicide kills two people, Maggie, that’s
what it’s for.”
Did his dad mean to kill
one, maybe two or a few more?
He doesn’t know what his dad knew,
but his dad killed more than
two;
he destroyed a family and the two who
are still around think every day
about how life was shattered
that winter’s day,
a day not unlike today.
He was seventeen and now he’s seventy
appreciative to have experienced life’s plenty
and maybe he knows the plenty
in contrast to all that running on empty.
And he’s beating the odds,
thank God.

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