I must begin with an apology, my friends
That I shed no tears for you when you passed
When I heard the news that you lived no more
That I did not ponder on your existence and ceasing thereof
When I continued with the ritual day to day
For this, I am truly sorry
I must continue with an apology, my friends
That I did not acknowledge the cancer in your bones
When you were still fighting, still breathing
That I put out of my mind even the thought of autocide
When your wife was left widowed, your children fatherless
For this, I am sincerely sorry
I must persist with an apology, my friends
That I did not wish to attend your funerals or memorials
When I was given an invitation and a chance
That I did not comfort the loved ones you left behind
When I dined in your homes with your memories
For this, I am truthfully sorry.
I must push on with an apology, my friends
That even now I cannot grieve for the loss of you
When I sit and write this poem with all left unsaid
That I still cannot bring myself to shed a tear, to weep
When I force myself to dwell on this tragedy
For this, I am earnestly sorry.
I must conclude with an apology, my friends
That I am still inhaling stale air, exhaling my ghost
When you have been torn from your families
That I can still ungratefully demand more than my lot
When your potential was cut down without my caring
For this, I am fervently sorry.
So, so sorry.
And yet I still do not cry.
an ode to my friends, notably one who died from cancer and left behind her husband and two daughters, and one who committed autocide and left his wife, son, and daughter