Riches

I remember with the vividness
of this lime and mango gelato
how content I used to be
some thirty years ago
living one block from the library,
taking the grimy bus
one and a half hours to my abject job
returning each dusk to my abject apartment
in a strange city: no phone, no TV,
one unreliable friend.

I used to buy those huge cans of V-8
when I could: 3 inches of juice per day.
Lettuce, lentils and bread.

Farewell Reception

You are invited Friday evening to celebrate Professor John
_______’s retirement from this faculty, from committees
and gradebooks and tedious discussions of nuances
which he now views as the exclusive properties
of those who can recall the words which seem to him
unreliably accessible; the minute his sentences begin they recede
like cities from a plane window;
……………………………………………………now he is on a plane
different from the one we inhabit; his has sudden
trapdoors in the air, somewhat like Chutes ’n Ladders –
a game he likes anew, and Solitaire, he likes that too.
Please RSVP re John’s withdrawal from this and, gradually,
let us not mince words, from his other faculties.