Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma


Why did I wait so long?

I trusted there would be time in spades,

years and decades to further our friendship,

hone the edges of our razor wits –

or did we only imagine we were funny?

I confided truths I hid from the world,

trusting you to embalm them,

bury them deep,

just as I keep your secrets still,

taking them out occasionally

unfolding them gently,

reminding myself you were larger than my mere humanity,

full of joy and generosity,

with an appetite for so much I feared.

Your example emboldened me,

allowed me to pursue the pleasure of discomfort,

the unease of thrusting myself beyond

my self.

Now, more fully formed,

more insinuated into the universe of others,

I sample the world you bequeathed

while you rest in your sarcophagus

beneath the lush landscape

no longer wondering

why I waited so long.


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