The Poetry of
Jack Scott

David Maulsby

You left without goodbye.
I miss you
and insist: one evening at the Tavern
to make that right.
(That’s a trick, you know;
once I had you by the handshake
I wouldn’t let you go
until your lovely bride,
unseen except by you,
tugs your gnarled fingers gently,
expressing some soft code:
you should not come late

David, Betsy.
Babydear, this is my friend.
He loved his lady dearly,
married when she,
as you,
was very, very young
and he had more than twice her years,
and none,
when she had none.

David, I was not here to meet you
and now I am
and you are not
(You passed away,
then died
without the dinner we had planned.)

Betsy, they were Siamese,
together at the one,
at the spirit, one.
They loved,
and loving,
honeymooned on planet earth.

Death was surgeon,
successful in its operation,
rare separation
of rarity.
Both died.
Nine days it took her cancer;
nine years David’s spirit bled from him
through his unhealing wound
into the antiseptic emptiness,

(They knew that germs are fun.)
he followed it,
connected as it were
(died, the papers said),
loving only cancer at the end
in thin gin memory,
despite the Triple-A transplant
which didn’t take,
rejected at the suture line.

David, I love this woman
That’s why I asked you back
to have a drink,
to say goodbye,
and introduce —
we know that marriages are rare,
rarer than Siamese.

We met as shadows, friend.
You had outlived your lady,
and I was just about to enter in.

She tugs,

L6 ®Copyright 1976 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.